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Dizzy Up the Girl

The Goo Goo Dolls

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Album Review

"Name" changed the game for the Goo Goo Dolls. Prior to that unexpected hit ballad, the Buffalo trio was pretty much content to turn out amiably sloppy rock & roll in the style of the Replacements. Like the latter-day 'Mats, they weren't adverse to cleaning up their sound a little bit, but once they had a hit, they were happy to jump headfirst into the mainstream, cleaning up their rockers until they shone and embracing acoustic power ballads instead of shunning them. In fact, "Iris" — their contribution to the City of Angels soundtrack and lead single for their sixth album, Dizzy Up the Girl — is a virtual rewrite of "Name." The funny thing is, where most college rock bands of the Bush era sounded awkward as mainstream rockers, the Goo Goo Dolls actually sound better as a mainstream band, partially because they were hardly underground in the first place. Like a less mannered and conflicted Let Your Dim Light Shine-era Soul Asylum, the trio balances hard rockers with ballads. The difference is, they enjoy the mainstreaming of their music and respond with one of their catchiest sets of songs. There's nothing new on the record apart from their willingness to polish their music so it reaches the widest audience. That will alienate whatever hardcore followers they have left, but that attitude will likely please anyone brought aboard with "Name" and "Iris."

Customer Reviews

Dizzy new heights

So smooth you forget they used to be a DIY punk ensemble. But for US Radio Rock it doesn't get slicker than this album.

The quality of songs is still right there just like it was on parts of Hold Me Up and all of Superstar Carwash. But by this stage they have more in common with Hootie and The Blowfish than The Replacements and Husker Du.

Broadway, Acoustic Number 3, Black Balloon, Dizzy and several others all featured on pretty boy TV show soundtrack albums like Dawsons Creek, The OC and I Really Need To Atriculate About My Turmoil With The Prettiest Girl In Town*, thus cementing the Dolls Americana Freedom Fries Rock Lite crown and burying the Punk roots like A President hiding his previous convictions.

* I may have made that last show up


You'll buy it for Iris, but you'll repeat listen for All Eyes On Me, Broadway, Black Balloon and every other song that was written with a story behind it and lyrics that do it justice. Between this and ABNG you wouldn't ever need another album.


Formed: 1985 in Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Early in their career, the Goo Goo Dolls were frequently dismissed by critics as mere imitators of the Replacements; however, they refined and mainstreamed their sound to become one of the most popular adult alternative rock bands of the 1990s, selling millions of records to audiences largely unfamiliar with their influences. That's no knock on the band, either — the music simply improved in craft and accessibility as the years progressed, and radio happened to be receptive to a style that,...
Full bio

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