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Hold Me Up

The Goo Goo Dolls

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Album Review

The Goos' third album was in part seen as their commercial step up, though in fact the real breakthrough didn't come along for a few more years. It's little surprise why there was more of a push for this album, though. If it wasn't as powerfully distinct as Nirvana's Nevermind, Hold Me Up is as much a product of '80s underground punk and indie (and dollops of bands like Cheap Trick) as its more famous counterpart. The Replacements Jr. tag that dogged the Goos in early years still has a connection here, unquestionably. But considering at that point Paul Westerberg was starting down his road toward tasteful irrelevance, Hold Me Up is the perfect stand-in for those who wanted a little more energy with their catchy but emotional rock. If anything, Rzeznik's agreeably ragged and certainly Westerberg-inspired vocals start to really come into their own even more than before, now a great contrast to Takac's amiable brattishness. The latter can have his own impact, though — check out the opening "Laughing" or "So Outta Line," both hyperactive numbers with heart. There's no question Rzeznik steals the show with the album's lead single — "There You Are," with a brilliant, descending lead guitar figure and a sprawling, sloppy/tight performance that's pure gold. Throughout the album, all the bandmembers sound just great, peeling off some wonderfully catchy numbers one after another — "Just the Way You Are," "Hey," the fine instrumental "Kevin's Song," and the acoustic pointer to the future, the concluding, wistful "Two Days in February." In keeping with past guest appearances, the Incredible Lance Diamond takes an amazing lead vocal turn on a wonderful cover of Prince's "I Could Never Take the Place of Your Man," while Rzeznik himself burns down the house on a triumphant rip through the Plimsouls' "A Million Miles Away."

Customer Reviews

Different in a good way

It's really hard for the Goo Goo Dolls to make an album or song I don't like. Hold Me Up shows their roots as a local punk band out of Buffalo. Although this is very punk compared to their new stuff, "Just The Way You Are", "There You Are", "You Know What I Mean", and "Two Days In February"can make it onto their new albums and fit right in. Fans of the newer stuff may not prefer "Laughing", "Out Of The Red", "On Your Side", and "Know My Name", because all those songs are hard, punk/rock songs. The remainder of the album is somewhat of a mixture. "So Outta Line" and the duet "Hey" have the same kind of sound, they are a little on the rock side but they have amazing choruses that any Goo fan might like. There are two amazing covers, "Never Take The Place Of Your Man" (sung by "The Incredible Lance Diamond", I think it should go down as a classic by the Goos), and "Million Miles Away". "22 Seconds" is a parody of themselves sung by ex-drummer George Tutuska (who is singing very off-key, he even says at the end). "Keven's Song" is the last instrumental the Goos would put out, and it's a great one. There is great use of the piano, and the soaring guitars by Johnny makes this a must hear. "Two Days In February" is the best ballad the Goo Goo Dolls have done. The lyrics are touching and the rawness of this song is fantastic. It seems like they recorded this beside a road. The bass in the song is amazingly played by Robby. Hold Me Up is an amazing, underrated gem that that shouldn't be passed up by any Goo fan. It might take a while to grow on you, but once it is, you'll be happy you spent the $9.99 on it.

The only Dolls you'll ever need

I came across this album by accident when I was a college DJ in the early 90's. Yes, it reminded me of the Replacements, but the songwriting was so good it didn't matter. They lost me as they slid toward more polished radio friendliness. I'm not accusing them of selling out...it's just that when they sounded like the Replacements, they still sounded original. Ironic, huh?

great cd

there you are and you know what i mean are AWESOME songs

Biography

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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