(What I Learned About) Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce, Goo Goo Dolls Warner Brothers

Paul Wong
Courtesy of Warner Bros.

Ok. I have never listened to any Goo Goo Dolls albums in my life. By choice. I only know them from the MANY times I”ve heard their singles, which I have never been very impressed with. So I”ll admit that I had both a lack of knowledge and an overabundance of deep-seated bias going into my first Goo album. Well, Ego, Opinion, Art & Commerce isn”t really an album. But it”s not a live or (thank god) greatest hits package either. Instead it”s a disc full of remastered/remixed songs from the entire Goo catalogue (Only one song, “Naked,” was a single). And that catalogue, judging from Ego, is not really anything to celebrate.

With this one CD, the Goo Goo Dolls have announced to the world that they have finally honed their apathy-causing skills. It”s quite a feat their sound has actually gotten more and more bland with each new release. The album follows a backward course, starting with songs from 1998″s Dizzy Up the Girl, their most recent album, and finishing with a track from their 1987 self-titled debut. The earlier material is straight-forward pop punk, and is, by definition, fairly catchy, if not striking. The later stuff is the typical Goo Goo Dolls that various media outlets have spewed at us. Usually, about now, I”d go into some detail about specific tracks, but as there weren”t any spectacularly good or tremendously awful moments, there”s nothing to say.

Not having any previous Goo exposure to draw upon renders me unable to identify what exactly they did to the various songs on Ego, but I will say this: I thought remastering/remixing meant an attempt to improve upon or change. What the hell did they do here? It all sounds like the filler it likely was the first time anybody heard it.

I”ll give you that they are fairly decent musicians, and Rzeznik does a good job sounding sexy for the lay-dees, but the songs on Ego are all formulaic and predictable.

Ego does offer something neat for die-hard fans in a special Internet key to a secret Goo Goo Dolls site where you can download rare videos and b-sides, see unpublished photos, send personalized Goo postcards and catch up on the latest band news.

I do have to call attention, however, to the fact that one area of the site gives you the ability to look through Ego”s booklet and download songs from the album. Seeing as you have to buy the album to access the site, you already have the songs and the booklet. All in all, it looks like the Dolls are attempting to cash in on loyal fans and buy time until they get off their royalty-laden asses to make a new record.

Grade: C-

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