Goo Goo Dolls, "Something for the Rest of Us"

75 Billboard Rating

If what some of the rest of us want from the Goo Goo Dolls is a return to the trio's harder-rocking, pre-"Name" roots, then the Goos have tossed us a bone. The group's first new album in four years, "Something for the Rest of Us," hardly re-creates the world of "Jed" or "Superstar Car Wash." But the set has a fullness and energy-not to mention an arsenal of layered guitars-that give it the kind of muscle we haven't heard from the band in quite some time. The song "Sweetest Lie" starts things off with hand claps and a galloping gait, while "One Night," "Still Your Song" and the Robby Takac-sung pair of "Now I Hear" and "Say You're Free" mix propulsion with polished pop craft. Even John Rzeznik's more melodic moments follow suit, displaying both emotional and musical heft on ambient fare like "As I Am" and dynamic ebb and flows like "Nothing Is Real" and "Notbroken." Rzeznik is still grappling with relationship tumult throughout these 12 songs. But it's with a more outward-looking perspective that invests listeners in his quest for the answer to the question, "Can we make it through the darkness?

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