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05:49 AM on 06/26/13
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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I think I like Let Love In more, as far as their recent stuff is concerned, but there are some solid summer jams on this disc. I just sort of wish they would go back to the more organic production of their 90s stuff. This album sounds great, but it doesn't have the same heart and soul that made them a chart topping band back in the day. And I've never really liked Takac's tracks, but the production especially seems to hurt him here. He should be singing dirty, loud, Replacements-esque punk songs, not AC ballads.
10:45 AM on 06/26/13
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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At least half of Let Love In is great, classic Goo Goo Dolls material. Don't really get how anyone could like Gutterflower and not like that one.
06:58 AM on 06/27/13
Craig Manning
Down in Jungleland
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Here's why I love Gutterflower and don't like Let Love In, and why I don't get how people think the two are similar:

- The lyrics are significantly worse
- The production is horrendous; everything is drowned in reverb and has no clarity or punch
- It completely lacks the dark angst and edge of Gutterflower; there are no songs even remotely stylistically comparable to "It's Over", "What Do You Need?", or "Truth Is a Whisper"
- "Without You Here" and "Become" are two of the lamest, sappiest ballads the band's ever written
- There's only one really loud rock song, "Stay with You", and it's pretty by-the-numbers and bland
- The only song that really sounds like those on Gutterflower is "We'll Be Here (When You're Gone)", and the song it sounds like ("What a Scene") is probably my least favorite Rzeznik song on Gutterflower

The one thing Let Love In has going for it is that I think "Listen" is Robby's best song on any album. Sorry for the rant-y post; if you couldn't tell, they are my favorite band, so I've been disappointed for the past decade as I keep hoping they'll release another killer album.

Fair enough. Gutterflower is definitely darker, but I've never really thought Let Love In was at odds with the arc their sound took after A Boy Named Goo: each album added more pop sheen and moved their sound in a safer and more mainstream direction. I don't really love either album (Gutterflower has some of their best songs, particularly "Big Machine," but there's too much Takac), but I do adore the first four songs and a few others on Let Love In. I also feel like Robby's songs disrupt from the flow less on that album than they do on most others, which is a big thing for me, since Robby is pretty much what has kept any of this band's albums away from my favorites list.

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