Magnetic sees the Goo Goo Dolls do what the Goo Goo Dolls do best; stay current. Working with a variety of producers including Rob Cavallo, Greg Wells, Gregg Wattenberg, and John Shanks, the Goos made their standard set of radio friendly tracks. There are maybe two to three songs on this album that don’t really have the potential to be radio singles. That’s great for contemporary Goo Goo Dolls fans, but it’s kind of a drag for the die hards.
The Goo Goo Dolls songs that I’ve always latched on to are the unorthodox songs. The ones with Robby Takac singing instead of Johnny Rzeznik. They fit the 90’s angst-ridden rock genre that made me fall in love with music years ago, and really they do that perfectly. There are two of those songs on this album and they are clear highlights, “Bringing On The Light” and “Happiest of Days” are amazing album songs. The latter might be the best Takac-sung Goo Goo Dolls song ever. Those two songs are on the rock side of the new album and there are a few more songs like that, but the sound that dominates the album is the modern-era, dumbed down rhythm electronic sound. It fits some bands great, I’m not sure that it works with Goo Goo Dolls. Sure, you’ll tap your foot to a few of these but you won’t remember these songs as much as you did the other singles off the previous nine albums. “Rebel Beat” is a great Goo Goo Dolls song, but “Keep The Car Running” is among the worst.
Magnetic will keep the band current while it’s their back catalogue that keeps them relevant. The Goo Goo Dolls working with multiple producers and taking the modern-era route of the current blueprint of making pop music isn’t ideal. Call me crazy but I want to hold on to the few bands in music that write really good music by themselves and record their album with only one producer. Magnetic will be memorable but not nearly as much if they had made this record their traditional way.