The logo for The Sleigher.
Credit: Julia Terbrock

HO HO WHO: The Bills have been winning, so Buffalonians had to look elsewhere for hometown mediocrity this holiday season. Alt-rock icons The Goo Goo Dolls came through.

PANDEMIC INSPIRATION: With immense suffering and tragedy on display alongside the incredible capacity for human kindness and resilience during the global pandemic, the Goos directed that energy into their first ever … Christmas album? Frontman John Rzeznik and crew offer It’s Christmas All Over as a “33-minute respite from the current shit show we are living in.” Fair enough, John. But does it deliver? Eh, about as much as any Goo Goo Dolls album could. The album is surprisingly jazzy and features two original songs—including the uninspired “This is Christmas”—alongside classic covers like “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas,” “Let It Snow,” “Hark! The Herald Angels Sing,” and the song only The Chipmunks should sing, “Christmas Don’t Be Late.”

GIANT LEGO DRAGON: The best part of this album isn’t on the album at all. It’s on a giant Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade float. The Goo Goo Dolls performedThis is Christmas” alongside a three-story, part turkey, part dragon LEGO monster thing named Brick-Changer. It was truly a sight to behold. Rzeznik’s sultry voice and sappy lyrics clash perfectly with the bright colored dragon, who occasionally spits smoke from her mouth. The song itself peddles in all the cliches that come with the holiday season (“stars above,” “the ones we love,” and traveling 1,000 miles just to see someone smile) and offers them as a cure for whatever’s got you down. Yuck.

CHEER FACTOR: 5/10. I have listened to this entire album multiple times. I want to hate it, but I just can’t. It’s fine. It’s the kind of album where a friend will ask you “Who is this?” And you, as the purchaser of this album, will arrogantly say “The Goo Goo Dolls.”

“Oh,” your buddy will say, and the two of you will return to whatever activity or conversation you were having (socially distanced, if appropriate) and neither of you will think of it ever again. If you’re looking for something completely mediocre to ignore in the background, The Goo Goo Dolls are here for you.