Chords and notes

The Goo Goo Dolls, Let Love In

Virgin Records, CD, Rs. 395Whether one likes The Goo Goo Dolls's Let Love In really depends only on which side of the Adult Alternative fence one sits on. After all, this is by no means a bad album. On the contrary, this collection of pop-heavy, mid-tempo ballads has quite a ring to it. That this isn't a product of the order of Dizzy Up The Girl is quite obvious. However, Let Love In still brings together a collection of songs tailor made for radio airplay, with a clean sound that is incapable of offending, and choruses that instantaneously grab one's attention. Perhaps the best example of this is the title track, with a chorus I can imagine myself singing while waiting for the traffic light to change, or the ATM queue to move up. And John Rzeznik's poppy-with-angst vocals fit perfectly into the scheme of the album, finding a middle space that just about anyone should find agreeable. However, that is Let Love In's basic problem - the Goos sound nothing like their older selves, having mellowed down their sound with each successive album, a task that is done to the hilt on this one by producer Glen Ballard. The man who created the magic of Jagged Little Pill here shaves down the edges until all that's left is a monotonous sameness that spreads across the entire album. Even when the band does let go ever so slightly, on the Robby Takac-written "Listen" and "Strange Love", the effort seems half-hearted, as if the band is afraid to return to the roots that got them here. That the strongest song on this short album, "Give A Little Bit" is a cover of the Supertramps original does say something about Let Love In. One wouldn't go wrong picking up Let Love In, but giving this album a miss wouldn't be the greatest crime in the world either. RAKESH MEHAR