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Jul 17, 2018







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Goo Goo Dolls, Boxes (Warner Bros Records)




Braids, Companion (Arbutus Records)

This Montreal threesome broke through in a big way in 2015 with their third LP Deep in the Iris, a lonely-hearts joint that spoke of loneliness and all that rot while checking off all that’s hip. It was a little bit Massive Attack (who by this point have to be the Led Zeppelin of the high-tech takeover of rock itself, and, no, I don’t want to argue about it) with Vampire Weekend on the incidental steel-drum percussion side, all with just the right amount of glitchy but polite dubstep. Yep, a masterpiece of sorts, with a few epic ghetto arias from singer Raphaelle Standell-Preston, she of the professed bouts of depression and love for Top 40 during her early years, even if she cites Aphex Twin and Burial as main influences, but I don’t want to argue about that stuff either. All that junk brings us to this new four-songer, leading off with the title track, a morose, mousy, amniotic thing in which it’s inferred that they know the Vampire Weekend stuff was overdone, and in its place is, um, uh, accordion. “Joni” trots out some understated jungle rinsing while channeling Michael Jackson; “Trophies for Paradox” is woozy music-box experimentalism; “Sweet World” is drowsy, glitched-up ’90s-pop. I detect a mild dearth of ideas, but they’re certainly on the right track. B+




Goo Goo Dolls, Boxes (Warner Bros Records)
CD Reviews: June 9, 2016

06/09/16
By Eric Saeger news@hippopress.com



 This Buffalo, N.Y.-hatched songwriting juggernaut almost single-handedly made the 1990s worthwhile, if not for top-drawer singles like “Slide” and “Iris” then for their stubborn refusal to release lousy tunes. You may not know that they started as a punk outfit slumming at the Metal Blade Records ghetto back in the 1980s and have since completely lost their original fan base, such as it was. But this is one of those ultra-rare cases in which that’s actually a good thing, being that they eventually came to own rock’s Best-Boyfriend-Ever space by combining loping, sweeping Adult Top 40 hooks with lyrics generally centered around not just digging on girls but actually protecting their hearts and minds — their personas are a credit to their gender, one reward for which was frontman John Rzeznik’s being inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2008. Their 11th album is nothing new, made of captivating AOR ear candy, beginning with the U2-vs-Mumfords semi-rocker “The Pin,” upon which the listener gets sucked right into the sort of gravitas that only guys who really, really know how to write pop songs can conjure. They flirt with ripping off John Cougar on the title track, but then comes one of those hooks again, and then later Robby Takac lends his Joey Ramone rat-voice to “Free of Me.” The push single is “So Alive,” a mild dabbling in hip-hop beat-age. A very strong album all around. A  






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