The Goo Goo Dolls were all over the soundtrack of my life during my high school years. As an impressionable, drama ridden, boy-crazed teenager who had incredibly low self-esteem, I often immersed myself into music. Music has long since been my therapy. There are three things which take me to another place where I can run away from myself, only to then find out that those three things also force me to face myself.
- Listening to and writing music.
- Hiking in the woods.
- Sitting by the ocean.
It seems only fitting that the Goo Goo Dolls would release a new album during a time when I’m going through, well, I’m going through a time of growth and life lessons. People in the music industry seemed to run cold on Goo Goo Dolls after the days of “Black Balloon,” “Slide,” and “Iris.” Those days have passed and while they won awards for those songs, they haven’t received much recognition for a track since “Better Days” back in 2007. Although, they were placed in the RockWalk Hall of Fame back in 2013 alongside other inductees such as Eric Clapton, Aerosmith, and Van Halen to name a few.
Fast forward to September 2019
Miracle Pill is the 12th studio album from the band and when it released, the band promptly began sharing the story behind the name.
“Miracle Pill” is a metaphor for the instant gratification and relief we seek from our own circumstances. Are your sad? Take a pill. Are you lonely? Get popular on social media. The fact of the matter is no one has 50 friends, much less 5,000. I’m just trying to articulate my observations of the second decade of the 21st Century, with all its angst, avarice, confusion, and insecurities. We are inundated by bull****, cheap shiny objects, and false solutions to every problem and desire we have. I have no answers to these questions, but I don’t believe hero worship, life hacks, shortcuts, and escapism are the answers. I just want to make a real connection with real people in real time.
–Goo Goo Dolls
Searching in vain for that miracle pill
This makes 110% sense to me, especially since we all know that Johnny Rzeznik, the band’s lead vocalist, has had a longtime struggle with alcohol. Fortunately, he is now five-years sober, which is phenomenal!
“It worked for a while because it was a social lubricant. I didn’t have to deal with anything that I was afraid of, which was everything. I loved being alone and drunk,” he explained to People in a revealing new interview. “That was when I felt most comfortable.”
“Then I was like, this can’t go on forever,” he recalled. “It got dark.”
We all have a vice or two, don’t we? Nobody has a perfect life, free of struggles and dark times, and I really don’t believe that there is a single person in the world who has always handled every moment perfectly either. There is no such thing as a miracle pill. We are human, making mistakes is how we learn. They aren’t moments of failure; they are moments of growth. Sometimes it takes a little bit longer to learn the lesson, and life throws things at us rapid fire to wake us up. I think that is what leads to an album like Miracle Pill.
This leads me to my favorite track on the album, the latest Goo Goo Dolls song to make the Christy soundtrack files. I love this song. It’s beautiful, it’s relatable, and it is a much needed reminder that we are all going through something.
Sail away to the sun
Yeah I hope you find
A little truth in a world full of pretty lies
Don’t cry, don’t cry
We all get lost sometimes
The band still shines
For those of you who have always loved the Goo Goo Dolls, I believe you will also love this album. Some critics have claimed that it doesn’t shine like the original albums from the band, some have even said that the album falls flat. I couldn’t disagree more. Miracle Pill doesn’t just shine, it provides the light to get the listener to the other end of any dark tunnel they may have in their life.
This album isn’t meant to put the band into a Hall of Fame; it’s meant to reach the hearts of people who take the time to listen and feel the music. Yes, I realize I’m being sappy, and so what!? Like I said earlier, music is a form of therapy for me. Time to print out the lyrics from these tracks and make them mantras for a better day, for a new day.
Every memory’s a shadow
The final track on the album is “Think It Over.” The lyrics include, “Think it over while you’re walking away / I’ve been standing on the streets of my head / Every memory’s a shadow / I can’t let go.” Tell me that didn’t just knock you on your ass. The lyrics, coupled with the harmonizing chorus (which seems to include a choir, although I can’t find information about who they are, so if you know then please share), form a powerful combination.
Singles from Miracle Pill
- “Miracle Pill”
- “Money, Fame and Fortune”
Complete Miracle Pill track listing
- Miracle Pill
- Money, Fame & Fortune
- Step in Line
- Over You
- Life’s a Message
- Autumn Leaves
- Think It Over