Enough has been said of the Goo Goo Dolls post-Superstar Car Wash career, but one fact remains: having producer Glen Ballard (Aerosmith, Alanis Morissette) involved to the degree he was with Let Love In locks a door that was surely closed with that aforementioned 1993 release. The latest Goo effort finds Johnny Rzeznik and Robby Takac magnifying the AOR-colored hues and introspection found on radio hits like “Black Balloon,” “Iris” and their latest chart entrée, “Better Days.”
It only bears mentioning since this Special Edition – industry speak for “we should probably beef this one up ‘cause this bugger’s just not selling that well” – has an accompanying DVD with live performances of some of their greatest hits and music videos for “Better Days,” “Let Love In” and “Stay With You.” It’s above average as a DVD release and the accompanying CD makes for a fair bonus — and all for the same price that the original Love release was. But frankly, it doesn’t help the original release any — not even contextually. The CD itself is just okay, which has been said many times before today.
This much is true: Rzeznik and Takac have morphed into a heartily capable pop act with a knack for radio hits. To wit, this Love reissue will do nothing to win over old fans of the band who liked their scrappy, Replacements-channeling and punk edge better. Newer fans, however, will surely be tickled. For this reviewer, it’s a hefty price for a cover of Roger Hodgson’s Supertramp classic “Give a Little Bit” and an odds and ends DVD. Buy the single on iTunes and the 2004 Fourth of July CD/DVD combo, Live in Buffalo instead.