Goo Goo dolls still bloom very well | Music | Entertainment

Best known here for singer/guitarist Johnny Rzeznik’s sublime 1998 hit Iris, the band from Buffalo, New York, debut their 14th studio album with a love song.

Yeah, I Like You is a dynamic acoustic rocker that grabs you by the collar, pulls you in and seals the deal with a killer chorus.

Rzeznik, who produced the record, has a knack for creating numbers that combine melody, passion, power and feeling.

Songs such as War recall the Celtic-tinged “great music” of the 80s and 90s while still managing to sound as fresh as a toothpaste commercial filmed in a field of blooming daisies.

Rzeznik’s “war” takes place in a troubled relationship, not on a battlefield. “I’m not the enemy,” he says. “Honey, I believe you will be my end.”

The Goo Goo Dolls have come a long way since their own rocky beginnings as the scruffy ’80s punk band Sex Maggot.

We hear only echoes of these Going Crazy which open on a hard and haunting guitar riff of which The Clash or Green Day would have been proud.

The band’s story really kicked off with their breakthrough 1995 single, Name. Other American hits – Slide, Black Balloon, Here Is Gone – cemented their reputation at home.

New gems here include the instantly catchy Save Me From Myself and the smooth rocker Loving Life which features bassist Robby Takac on vocals.

The 10 tracks include the soulful ballad You Are The Answer and Superstar, closer and upbeat mid-tempo.

The Dolls never wanted to be teenybop pin-ups. They march to the beat of their own drum, writing tight, concise and addictive tunes in their own unique way.

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