Boxes, Goo Goo Dolls

Boxes is the eleventh album from Goo Goo Dolls and the first album released since the drummer, Mike Malinin, left in 2013.

Jane Howkins

Boxes is the latest release from acclaimed pop-rockers Goo Goo Dolls, with the album lending the band more towards the pop side of their sound than the rock side. The band’s musical progression towards a more radio friendly sound has been criticised over the years (and there will undoubtedly be similar criticisms towards Boxes), however such a move does work here – for the most part.

A favourable characteristic of the band is the big choruses (and even verses in some instances) which they are known for (with the most famous example being in their biggest hit, Iris, from 1998 record Dizzy Up The Girl), and there is no exception here, with songs such as Over and Over (one of the best songs on the album) and So Alive featuring big, anthemic choruses that are perfect to sing along to.

Considering this, it is slightly puzzling that the band have often been criticised for having poppy aspects, as the music they make has always had an anthemic sensibility to it. On the other hand, Boxes pushes that a little further, with more electronic aspects included on songs like Lucky One and Free Of Me. While it occasionally sounds like the band are trying a little too hard in this regard, it is refreshing to hear a different style coming through, as while the Goo Goo Dolls have always been popular, their sound has at times been a little generic.

That might seem a little off-putting to fans, but the rock aspects of the band are still very much present on most of the songs. The most impressive thing here is how the group manage to combine the different elements that they are playing with on Boxes into palatable chunks. Whilst it doesn’t always work, there is a lot to like here, and it’s good to see the Goo Goo Dolls attempting to evolve and move their music forward, instead of relying on a tired formula.

Goo Goo Dolls Boxes is available to purchase now.