Why Goo Goo Dolls Actually Deserve Your Respect

The Goos live at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass.
The Goos live at the Tweeter Center in Mansfield, Mass.

I'm fully aware that, since the dawn of the 21st century, the Goo Goo Dolls have been embarrassingly tepid MILFcore. Still, anytime someone name-checks the Goos as a symbol of mediocrity, I can't help but judge them. How can anyone exhibit shameless excitement over a Sleater-Kinney reunion record (groan) while thinking the back catalog of Buffalo's best rock export is anything to be ashamed of?

Let me drop some wisdom on you: The Replacements have some killer songs here and there, but they really only made one great album and no, it's not Let It Be. On the other hand, many of their imitators have cranked out solid album after solid album, frequently overtaking their heroes in the quest for rock's teen angst throne. Chief among those worshiping at the altar of Westerbergian woe are the Goo Goo Dolls. And while you could be forgiven for wanting to pierce your eardrums in protest against their more recent work, you're a damn Philistine if you're skipping out on what came before.

Their first three albums are completely beyond reproach. Solid punk rock with a melodic and mournful edge, tempered with a totally dumb sense of humor, as heard on tracks like "

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