WHO ARE THEY? The apparently immortal Buffalo pop-rockers co-founded by shaggy-haired singer-guitarist Johnny Rzeznik and generally shaggy bassist Robby Takac — two men whose obituaries are guaranteed to include the words Iris, Slide and Name in the first sentence.
WHAT IS THIS? Their dozenth album of shimmering pop-rock singles and chiming ballads, none of which are remotely likely to come close to matching the success of their previous hits.
WHAT DOES IT SOUND LIKE? On the plus side, they stopping ripping off The Replacements years ago. On the downside, a couple of these songs might make you think Johnny came across an old Marah album in a bargain bin somewhere. But mostly, this sounds about the same as the last four or five Goo Goo Dolls albums that you didn’t buy.
WHAT WOULD BE A BETTER TITLE FOR THIS ALBUM? Hard to Swallow. Or if you’re feeling more charitable, Placebo.
HOW SHOULD I LISTEN TO IT? Don’t ask how. Ask why.
WHAT 10 WORDS DESCRIBE IT? Commercial, earnest, intimate, passionate, autumnal, melancholy, reflective, uninspired, anthemic, dramatic.
WHAT ARE THE BEST SONGS? The piano-rock title track, the hazy groover Step in Line and the alt-folksy Lost will do in a pinch.
WHAT WILL MY FRIENDS AND FAMILY SAY? ‘Aren’t there enough Goo Goo Dolls albums in the world already?’
HOW OFTEN WILL I LISTEN TO THIS? Depends how often you drive the kids to soccer in the mini-van.
IF THIS ALBUM WERE A SANDWICH, WHAT KIND OF SANDWICH WOULD IT BE? Mayonnaise and American cheese on white bread.
SHOULD I BUY, STREAM OR STEAL IT? Stream it if you must. But don’t come crying to me.