By Abhinav Singh
Following the cancellation of their tour in support of the 2019 album 'Miracle Pill', rock band Goo Goo Dolls decided to record their thirteenth studio album and release it online. Only this time it was going to be a Christmas album, the very first one by Goo Goo Dolls. When asked about the reason behind such a decision, vocalist John Rzeznik, in an interview with The Buffalo News, said, "Someone asked me to record a Christmas song for them for a compilation record. I had so much fun doing it that I thought, 'Well, why don't we make a whole record?' I didn’t want to make a normal, schlocky Christmas record. I wanted it to be cool, in a sort of very retro way. So our engineer, Chris Shaw, found this great old, retro, hipster recording studio in Boyle Heights in Los Angeles." The result, titled 'It’s Christmas All Over', consists of ten tracks and will be released worldwide on October 30, 2020.
The opening song on the record, a cover of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers' 1992 track 'It's Christmas All Over Again', is both soothing and nostalgic in a way that it'll remind you of your childhood memories of the early, joyfully sleepy Christmas mornings. The lively cover sounds like the band's playing right in your living room conjuring a celebratory holiday vibe. The next song, 'Shake Hands With Santa Claus', is a cover of Louis Prima's 1958 track and, just like the original, is short and sweet with sounds of twinkling bells in the background. 'Shake Hands With Santa Claus' continues the happy vibe of the previous whipped up with its shiny and uplifting trumpet solo. The third track is an original song titled 'This is Christmas'. Calm and relaxing, it opens with Rzeznik's humming and carries all over it the classic Goo Goo Dolls feel while reminding you of what's truly important: Your loved ones.
'Christmas Don't Be Late', a good ol' piano-driven Christmas ballad, is intricate and enticing. A cover of 1958 Alvin and the Chipmunks' song, it's a fun rendition of the classic. The fifth track, 'Better Days', is a rework of Goo Goo Dolls' well-known track from their 2005 album 'Let Love In'. The piano-driven ballad, which reached #36 on the Billboard Hot 100 in '05 , is about making the world a better place. Sentimentally touching, the new version recreates the magic of the original, but with a festive difference. The next track, 'You Ain't Getting Nothing'', is an original song that's playful and catchy with a vintage swing era feel. Hugely enjoyable, it has all the potential to become a radio Christmas hit. The following track, 'Let It Snow', is a great cover of Dean Martin's 1966 classic which keeps the feel of the original intact. Delicate and Christmassy, all instruments, including the swirling guitar solo, complement each other perfectly.
On the eighth track, 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas', Rzeznik's vocal performance is brilliant. Endearing, shining, and pretty, the listener can totally picture this song playing at home on Christmas morning as you excitedly open the gifts. The second last track, 'Hark! The Herald Angels Sing', is fun, enjoyable, and embodies the warmth and fuzziness of the festive season. The last track, 'The Christmas Party (Ft. The Union Square 5)' is an instrumental with lovely harmonizations of trumpets and drums. It acts as the perfect closer to an incredibly festive record.