Criminy, it’s already the 22nd? I’ve still got a list of power ballads a mile long. Where did the time go?
Well, I promised some controversial picks, so here’s one for you: the Goo Goo Dolls’ “Iris” (download).
Whoa, whoa, whoa. Calm down, people. I know that many of you — like that bothersome asscrack Jason — think that power ballads began and ended in the ’80s, and were recorded only by a very specific type of band, blah blah blah. I disagree. It’s about the song, not the band — and even if it is about the band, hey, here’s a group that was rocking out in a drunken stupor not three years prior to this horrible song’s release, and next thing you know, wham! They’re growing tits and crying about love.
I do believe that the power ballad seemed to die for awhile — in fact, I think it was killed by one song in particular, which we’ll cover here tomorrow — but if there was ever a band poised to resurrect it, that band was the Goo Goo Dolls. Rocking out convincingly sure wasn’t selling them any records, and when they managed to put together an honest-to-God great hard pop album in 1993’s Superstar Car Wash, the world yawned, hit the snooze button, and rolled over. The band was on its last legs when it scored a surprise hit with 1995’s “Name” (also a ballad, but lacking the cartoonish melodrama of “Iris”), and when the time came to follow it up, there was really only one way they could go.
We’ve seen that way, and it sucks, a lot. But it’s hard to begrudge the Goo Goos their “artistic choices” over the last ten years, and they do still eke out a passable single once in awhile. Heavy rotation on VH1 might not be what the boys from Buffalo were aiming for when they started out, but it sure beats working at a car dealership.