Goo Goo Dolls

Let Love In (Warner Bros.)

In a past life, the arena-striding Goo Goo Dolls were thought quaint by their critics and artsier alt peers: too in love with their punk heroes, too working-class sentimental, too straight rock. Well, they got the last laugh when the money rolled in. But while re-creating the success of the single "Name," they became so overblown, two generations now know them as MOR-meisters. Who cares? You might, if you've ever heard the satisfying, gritty pop on Hold Me Upor even 1995's slicker A Boy Named Goo. Now comes the gaseous Let Love In, complete with Springsteen-via-Bon Jovi poetry and at least one ballad that Enrique Iglesias could redub with nothing amiss. Worst of all, raspy Robby Takac — who contributes "Strange Love," the album's only redeeming track — is now nearly muzzled in favor of bedroom-hush Johnny Rzeznik. If they cared, the Goo Goo Dolls would protest that they have humble roots; no one can begrudge them the right to extend their big break as long as possible. Anyway, making a stand — when you're filthy rich — must seem quaint.

 
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