April 18, 2019

Goo Goo Dolls - Boxes (2016)

Country: U.S.A.
Genre: Pop Rock
Label Number: 553888-2
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© 2016 Warner Bros. Records
AllMusic Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine
The album art for Boxes, the 11th album by the Goo Goo Dolls and the first since drummer Mike Malinin left the band, suggests a ceaseless expansion of cardboard portals into the universe -- a heady metaphor for a record that finds the group boring into mundane earthly concerns. As part of this embrace of the present, the Goo Goo Dolls -- now merely a duo of John Rzeznik and Robby Takac -- unapologetically embrace their middle age, excising any remaining hints of the raucous rock band of yore and splitting their time between power ballads and insistent anthems. Hints of "Iris" and its aftermath are heard throughout but Rzeznik and Takac do pay attention to modern music, threading in portions of the gated hip-hop rhythms of Twenty One Pilots on occasion. Elsewhere, they have a tough time shaking remnants of the cavernous rallying calls of Mumford & Sons -- it's an affectation left over from 2013's Magnetic and feels past its sell-by date here -- but that only underscores how the Goo Goo Dolls have turned from energy and songs toward an enveloping mood. And, in that sense, the pseudo-new age art winds up fitting the album: this is a record that attempts to unfold but remains grounded within its own humble limitations.

tags: goo goo dolls, boxes, 2016, flac,

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