Thoughts on the EP?

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nazar.huda

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Thoughts on the EP?
« on: May 12, 2017, 02:29 AM »
So I've listened to the whole EP a fee times and these are my thoughts.

Tattered Edge/ You Should Be Happy - This is an amazing vintage Goo track. Politically fused and optimistically pleasant. KIND of has a Flat Top vibe. And all praises. Amazing! 5/5

Use Me - This is a great modern Goo song. Their attempts at contemporary music really succeed here. Nothing feels forced. Everything feels right. 4.5/5

30K Feet - This is a great Robby track. His consistency never fails me. Haven't heard a bad Robby song in a while. Great stuff! 5/5

Walk Away - I thought this was the best song on Boxes (Japanese). I love it wholly. 5/5

Boxes (Remix) - I love the original. But I also enjoy this too. On a bright summer's day, I could jam to this in my car. Why not?! 4/5

Overall I loved the EP. It's an interesting compilation and I will listen to it eagerly. It compliments the Goo's massive catalogue!
4.5/5 for YSBH EP.

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Jdt827

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #1 on: May 12, 2017, 06:28 AM »
Honestly, I'm not even being generous in giving it a straight 5/5.

1. Tattered Edge - a true modern rock song, energetic, catchy, and inspired. I keep wanting to say it's my absolute favorite but....

2. Use Me - is so good too! Every time I listen I hear something new that I love. A simple song that is somehow complicated. Great best, love the guitars, lyrics are Johns finest in a while. I'll be disappointed if this doesn't become a well known song this summer.

3. 30K Feet. Lyrically, Robby always confuses me so I don't even try with that anymore. I love the song though. His best in a while.

4. Walk Away - the Goo Goo Dolls classic no one knows. I can't help but feel like this song belongs on any radio station that plays the lumineers. It just has a vibe to me. It's definitely a favorite Goo song overall.

5. Boxes (remix) - I'm still borderline feeling what's the point with this but I will admit I genuinely like the remix. It's simple but it gives the chorus more of an identity. I still he the mellow way the whole song blends in the original. Here, the electronic drum beat is heavier and the chorus is louder. It feels more energetic. It makes for a good close to a to the EP that's already kind of mellow.

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benaraiza

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2017, 03:05 PM »
As a collective group of songs I have to say I'm pleasantly surprised.  John's 2 new songs are vintage GGD and I'm already singing Tattered Edge at the top of my lungs.  Use Me is a cool track and could make some waves.  Robby's song 30,000 Ft... I can't help but laugh when I think he's just super-high lol  Walk Away is a great simple acoustic song and I'm glad the EDM treatment was given to Boxes and not a brand new song.  It fits =)

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allan

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #3 on: May 14, 2017, 12:39 AM »
Tattered Edge is definitely in that gutterflower/let love in era. Reminds me a lot of Stay With You and Truth Is A Whisper, but also Last Hot Night.

Also, it lyrically continues the theme of John writing about what is and what isn't  "Real", lol.




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Me & My Arrow

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #4 on: May 15, 2017, 12:58 PM »
Pretty much confirms that the Boxes sound is here to stay, which in my opinion is a sad thing.

"Tattered Edge" is more fun musically than anything on Boxes, but it's still a very watered down rock track with no teeth, kind of like "Real" and (sort of) "Stay With You" (but not as good as either of those). Johnny's lyrics are worse than ever, and his delivery is lacking as well. Compare this to past GGD songs that handled similar topics -- Big Machine, Flat Top, etc. -- and it's night and day. He doesn't seem to push past the most basic cliches and straightforward sentiments anymore.

And vocally, on the past couple of albums he's sounded a little different, like he's trying to emote in a strange new way or mimic other singers he likes, and the result sounds forced. Part of that is melodies (possibly written by co-writers/producers) that don't suit his voice. It's a shame, because his voice is often the only thing salvaging the weaker songs in this new contemporary pop trend-chasing era of GGD. I realize some people think that "trend-chasing" is an insult, but I mean it quite literally -- the band is obviously choosing to work with producers that help write music more in line with current pop trends, as they did on Magnetic (with decent results that still showed their personality as songwriters) and Boxes (with terrible results devoid of anything distinctly GGD).

"Use Me" makes zero impression. It's the kind of bland feel-good song I'd hear on the radio from any one of 100 bands and barely notice, and certainly never seek out to listen to again. The same is true of "30k Feet." "Walk Away" still sounds like a boring Phillip Phillips b-side, and the "Boxes" remix is kind of meh -- didn't love the original and the remix doesn't change that.

Don't know what else to hope for at this point. Maybe they'll make a conscious effort to write on their own more (without producers), maybe they'll integrate more rock and elements from other genres in future music, maybe an eventual Johnny solo project will take him in a new direction, but I don't think they can snap out of this phase without a deliberate shake-up and a renewed focus.

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Ben

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #5 on: May 15, 2017, 03:10 PM »
''but I don't think they can snap out of this phase without a deliberate shake-up and a renewed focus.''

I think its you who needs to snap out of this phase of still labeling the band as a rockband. The band has changed, and its unfair to compare a song like Tattered Edge to hits like Big Machine or Flat Top. Sure, their heydays are truly over in this era of electronic dance music, but that doesn't mean they sold their creativity. Like with Boxes all I can hear you say is that they let other people write contemporary music for them.  But what if they want that? What if John and Robby changed during their 30 years of music? Are you capable of accepting musical variations, even if you like that or not? Everyone fell in love with their rockmusic, but the band chose to write and compose in another way, which they seem clearly happy about. It's not about making money, or getting back into the charts. So Alive didn't peak, Over & Over died. Warner Bros isn't really promoting them as the other artists on that label. Not because they think they aren't capable of churning out heartfelt music anymore, but because the musical emviroment has changed and there is not really a lot of space left for the Goo's.

And lets be honest, back to the days John wrote and compose his own tunes? Yeah, Something For The Rest Of Us was a pretty good album, but that album had some of the most contemporary repetitive music and lyrics of all their albums. (Nothing is Real, Hey Ya). The chorus of Use Me is even comparible to Sweetest Lie. What I try to say is we need to stop comparing them to their old music, we need to embrace the new music, because in some years to come they will stop making music.

Oh and I like the new EP. Tattered Edge is a song just like Real, Souls In The Machine, Keep The Car Running and I love that.
I keep on looking but something's always missing.

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GooFan50

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2017, 05:36 PM »
No surprises in this thread -- the usual suspect(s) are starting to come out of the woodwork to totally bash the band for music that they wrote and chose to put out there. Guys, news flash: the Goo Goo Dolls wrote ABNG, DUTG, and Gutterflower more than 15 to 20 years ago! Are you exactly the same person doing exactly the same things now that you were 20 years ago? If you expect them to keep churning out the same types of songs over and over and over again (heh), then I don't know what to tell you other than that's a totally unrealistic expectation. To boot, on the one you bash them for putting out "generic" songs in Boxes and the YSBH EP, but on the other hand you bash them for not putting out carbon copies of their earlier music. If you're going to make an argument, at least be consistent!

And as I said when both Magnetic and Boxes came out in reply to others on this forum imputing the integrity and motivations of the band choosing to evolve their sound: if you don't like their music, DON'T LISTEN TO IT. Go ahead and listen to their older albums, have a good time, and if you want to talk to fellow fans about it, feel free to post here and we'll have some fun in the discussion.

But to say that the band is putting out "worse than ever" music and implying that they're intentionally changing their sound to try to stay relevant -- well, that seems pretty close to bashing the band which I am surprised is allowed on this forum. We've had enough of people making baseless personal attacks against John and Robby for YEARS all because they are evolving their sound, and I would suggest anyone who wants to engage in that kind of behavior to please take it elsewhere.

Ok now that I've gotten that out of my system, I'm going back to listening to You Should Be Happy on repeat  8).
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 05:39 PM by GooFan50 »

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Me & My Arrow

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #7 on: May 15, 2017, 05:47 PM »
''but I don't think they can snap out of this phase without a deliberate shake-up and a renewed focus.''

I think its you who needs to snap out of this phase of still labeling the band as a rockband. The band has changed, and its unfair to compare a song like Tattered Edge to hits like Big Machine or Flat Top. Sure, their heydays are truly over in this era of electronic dance music, but that doesn't mean they sold their creativity. Like with Boxes all I can hear you say is that they let other people write contemporary music for them.  But what if they want that? What if John and Robby changed during their 30 years of music? Are you capable of accepting musical variations, even if you like that or not? Everyone fell in love with their rockmusic, but the band chose to write and compose in another way, which they seem clearly happy about. It's not about making money, or getting back into the charts. So Alive didn't peak, Over & Over died. Warner Bros isn't really promoting them as the other artists on that label. Not because they think they aren't capable of churning out heartfelt music anymore, but because the musical emviroment has changed and there is not really a lot of space left for the Goo's.

And lets be honest, back to the days John wrote and compose his own tunes? Yeah, Something For The Rest Of Us was a pretty good album, but that album had some of the most contemporary repetitive music and lyrics of all their albums. (Nothing is Real, Hey Ya). The chorus of Use Me is even comparible to Sweetest Lie. What I try to say is we need to stop comparing them to their old music, we need to embrace the new music, because in some years to come they will stop making music.

Oh and I like the new EP. Tattered Edge is a song just like Real, Souls In The Machine, Keep The Car Running and I love that.

You made an awful lot of assumptions in this post about my perspective. Of course the band has chosen this path, and of course they're entitled to, and of course they are still very much involved creatively, and of course bands change over time, and of course I don't expect them to make music I love forever and ever, and of course we shouldn't expect another ABNG or DUTG in 2017. I wish people took all these things for granted before jumping into a debate about this stuff.

My problem with GGD's recent music isn't that it's pop, it's that it's weak pop heavily influenced by producers whose jobs literally entail churning out music that sounds like previously successful pop music. That's a poor way to make great art, no matter the genre. I listen to and love all kinds of music (rock, pop, electronic, classical, alternative, whatever). I just happen to think this isn't great music. I think the band has shifted into a realm where they aren't as strong as artists. Different genres require different talents, and I think Johnny is attempting to do something he's not very good at. Maybe he'll get better at it; who knows? His rock songwriting clearly developed over time.

I have no explanation for the lyrics, though, except for the hypothesis that Johnny's in a much better place now and therefore has less in the way of complicated or dark experiences to inspire him -- and of course, I wouldn't wish anything less for him as a person.

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Me & My Arrow

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #8 on: May 15, 2017, 06:03 PM »
Many misreadings of what I wrote in your response, so I'll take them one at a time:

No surprises in this thread -- the usual suspect(s) are starting to come out of the woodwork to totally bash the band for music that they wrote and chose to put out there. Guys, news flash: the Goo Goo Dolls wrote ABNG, DUTG, and Gutterflower more than 15 to 20 years ago! Are you exactly the same person doing exactly the same things now that you were 20 years ago? If you expect them to keep churning out the same types of songs over and over and over again (heh), then I don't know what to tell you other than that's a totally unrealistic expectation. To boot, on the one you bash them for putting out "generic" songs in Boxes and the YSBH EP, but on the other hand you bash them for not putting out carbon copies of their earlier music. If you're going to make an argument, at least be consistent!

I didn't in any way insinuate they should put out "carbon copies" of their earlier music. My only reference to past music was to say that in previous songs Johnny wrote lyrics about politics/society that were much more well written and more powerful as a result. I've repeated ad nauseam on here that I don't want more DUTG, or ABNG, or Gutterflower -- I just want more great music (see my post above). People on here too often have a strange way of equating "I don't think this is very good" with "I don't think this sounds enough like old GGD."

And as I said when both Magnetic and Boxes came out in reply to others on this forum imputing the integrity and motivations of the band choosing to evolve their sound: if you don't like their music, DON'T LISTEN TO IT. Go ahead and listen to their older albums, have a good time, and if you want to talk to fellow fans about it, feel free to post here and we'll have some fun in the discussion.

This argument always gets thrown out there when anyone's critical of new GGD music, and it makes no sense. I listened to it because it's new music from one of my favorite bands ever, and I'll listen to it a few more times to make sure I didn't miss anything or my feelings about it don't change. I came to the band's biggest community forum to discuss it, as I have for all their past releases. Of course I won't listen to it more in the end if I don't like it -- I've barely touched Boxes since the release month. Barring fans with negative opinions from participating in a conversation that explicitly asks what people thought of the new music is just silly. But yes, over time, if the ratio of music loved to music not loved shifts in the direction of the latter, obviously someone like me would be less inclined to discuss the band less. But that's just a natural development, not something that needs to be determined by outraged fans.

But to say that the band is putting out "worse than ever" music and implying that they're intentionally changing their sound to try to stay relevant -- well, that seems pretty close to bashing the band which I am surprised is allowed on this forum. We've had enough of people making baseless personal attacks against John and Robby for YEARS all because they are evolving their sound, and I would suggest anyone who wants to engage in that kind of behavior to please take it elsewhere.

I disagree. I don't think saying Johnny's lyrics are "worse than ever" is bashing the band, when I explain why I feel that way and avoid insults. It's just criticism (not ranting or attacking, just reasonably listening and responding) from a fan of the band. And I don't think speaking about the way the band is letting producers help shape the music more or moving into genres that are currently dominating pop radio is "bashing" or making "baseless personal attacks." It's an analysis of the end result, the music, and it doesn't say anything bad about the members -- they are entitled to do whatever they want, and my critique of how their sound has changed isn't anything except a fan assessing the evidence and discussing it with fellow fans.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 06:05 PM by Me & My Arrow »

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Jdt827

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #9 on: May 15, 2017, 07:39 PM »
I'm jumping in on this - not to gang up but to the person who doesn't like the EP or the "new sound", you should have figured that out 3 albums ago. The band has evolved and I absolutely love what they are putting out. I do believe that people naturally get softer over time. I used to listen to A Boy Named Goo and Gutterflower on repeat but as music evolves including the tools and techniques that are introduced with new technology, bands want to make something new. The Goo Goo Dolls have historically had extremely different albums. There first two are garage metal, while Hold Me Up is punk rock. SSCW are all power pop songs in every sense of the term minus a couple alternative tracks. ABNG is 100% an alt rock album. And they evolved into pop rock and stayed there. If anything, they are more consistent now than ever. Tattered Edge is a classic Goo track and the politically fused message BRINGS ME BACK to Flat Top, not away from it. I don't care what you say - Use Me rocks (and so does So Alive) and it could comfortably fit in between Here Is Gone and What A Scene on Gutterflower and sound as natural as ever. I actually play guitar and when I first heard Use Me, my first thought was, "damn I wish I could write like this".

 Boxes is a phenomenal album in my opinion and I find myself listening to their recent work far more than the older stuff, maybe it's because I'm not 18 anymore but who cares. Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion but the other guys are absolutely on point in saying it sounds like bashing. If you don't like the sound, then you have been on the wrong train for a while now. This isn't new.
« Last Edit: May 15, 2017, 07:44 PM by Jdt827 »

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laurac07

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #10 on: May 15, 2017, 08:12 PM »
I feel like I'm the only one here who understands this person was giving an honest critique. I don't agree with every point made, but they gave an actual review of the EP. I like Walk Away, and I like Use Me, perhaps because they have an emotional connection for me, but the others sort of fall flat. Apart from that, I don't have an objective review to give.

I don't agree with every sentiment from Me & My Arrow, but I can see the effort made in your review of the songs instead of each person's opinion.

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Me & My Arrow

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #11 on: May 15, 2017, 08:52 PM »
I'm jumping in on this - not to gang up but to the person who doesn't like the EP or the "new sound", you should have figured that out 3 albums ago. The band has evolved and I absolutely love what they are putting out. I do believe that people naturally get softer over time. I used to listen to A Boy Named Goo and Gutterflower on repeat but as music evolves including the tools and techniques that are introduced with new technology, bands want to make something new. The Goo Goo Dolls have historically had extremely different albums. There first two are garage metal, while Hold Me Up is punk rock. SSCW are all power pop songs in every sense of the term minus a couple alternative tracks. ABNG is 100% an alt rock album. And they evolved into pop rock and stayed there. If anything, they are more consistent now than ever. Tattered Edge is a classic Goo track and the politically fused message BRINGS ME BACK to Flat Top, not away from it. I don't care what you say - Use Me rocks (and so does So Alive) and it could comfortably fit in between Here Is Gone and What A Scene on Gutterflower and sound as natural as ever. I actually play guitar and when I first heard Use Me, my first thought was, "damn I wish I could write like this".

 Boxes is a phenomenal album in my opinion and I find myself listening to their recent work far more than the older stuff, maybe it's because I'm not 18 anymore but who cares. Anyway, you are entitled to your opinion but the other guys are absolutely on point in saying it sounds like bashing. If you don't like the sound, then you have been on the wrong train for a while now. This isn't new.

I did figure out many of the these things "three albums ago," and have been discussing them here throughout the years. When LLI came out, I was bummed out by the lackluster production but appreciated the more upbeat tone after Gutterflower. When SFTROU came out, I was concerned by the story of the band rewriting the album at the label's request, and thought it was pretty bland as a whole but still contained a few bits of truly great music that I loved. When Magnetic came out, I was excited and made optimistic by the band's renewed energy, but worried by the infiltration of pop trends that felt forced in by influential producers. When Boxes came out, I saw that my optimism didn't pay off, as the band relied even more on the sounds and styles of other popular artists. And this new EP confirms that, for now at least, the band's going to stick with that approach.

I'd agree that they're fairly consistent now, in some ways: lyrical themes, general emphasis of pop over rock, Johnny's vocal styling, etc. But in many ways, they've made a clear progression over the last few albums, and it's only Boxes and the new EP that have sounded so blatantly like other bands that aren't the GGD. "Use Me" would absolutely not fit on Gutterflower, in my opinion, in part because of the genre but mostly because there's nothing distinct about it -- change the vocals and it's a Train song. When people bring up the band's old music, they're not talking about the genre; they're talking about the unique qualities that made it stand out in the pop landscape, even when it was at the top of the charts.

All of which is to say, I'm well aware of how the band has developed, have found things to love and dislike on all their albums (until Boxes and this EP, really), and don't have any of the unfair expectations you attributed to me in your post. My tastes have changed even more than the band has over the years, and all I hope for is to enjoy their new music, whatever sounds like.  I don't feel their two most recent releases are good -- they're too anonymous and they lamely follow in the footsteps of recent pop successes (who I think write in those styles better than Johnny does, honestly). You and others disagreeing doesn't mean I'm bashing the band. It's just fair, thought-through criticism.

If you're interested, people talked on here about a similar topic when Boxes came out: http://absolutegoo.com/forum/index.php?topic=261.msg437#msg437

I feel like I'm the only one here who understands this person was giving an honest critique. I don't agree with every point made, but they gave an actual review of the EP. I like Walk Away, and I like Use Me, perhaps because they have an emotional connection for me, but the others sort of fall flat. Apart from that, I don't have an objective review to give.

I don't agree with every sentiment from Me & My Arrow, but I can see the effort made in your review of the songs instead of each person's opinion.

People too often react as if not liking/being disappointed with the band's music is equivalent to mindlessly bashing them or desperately wishing they'd sound like the old days. If anything, I'm probably more likely than anyone I know to be inclined to like something the band puts out, so hoping the next release hits me the right way!

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girlnamedgoo

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #12 on: May 16, 2017, 06:42 AM »
I'm really enjoying the new songs. They get stuck in my head all day. They are catchy just like the rest of the songs in their catalog. In my opinion, Walk Away could've been on A Boy Named Goo. It's got that old school Goo sound. I've been listening to Use Me on repeat daily. Boxes is a song that I don't really listen to but that has changed with this remix. I prefer it over the original which is strange for me because I usually don't like remastered or remixed songs. They have changed the style and presentation of the song with this remix and the song has become one of my favorites now. 5/5 for You Should be Happy.
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SueMoon

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Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #13 on: May 16, 2017, 04:11 PM »
I like Tattered Edge and Walk Away.

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Jonboy414

Re: Thoughts on the EP?
« Reply #14 on: May 16, 2017, 05:07 PM »
I wonder how "Use Me" will be live.  The chorus is Ah Ah Ah instead of words.  Johnny can't be singing it a lot I don't think.   Plus, guitar is not strong in the song and Johnny loves to have a guitar in his hands.