Miracle Pill

Album: Miracle Pill (2019)

Songfacts®:

  • This is the first single and title track from the Goo Goo Dolls' 12th studio album. It finds lead singer John Rzeznik frustrated by life and in search of a miracle pill that will solve all his problems - which is indicative of a culture obsessed with instant gratification.
  • Rzeznik started compiling songs for the album after the band got back from tour commemorating the 20th anniversary of their hit album, Dizzy Up The Girl. It didn't take long for the project to take shape. "The title and concept for the album just came to me at once. It hadn't happened to me in a long time, but I just got hit over the head for Miracle Pill," he told Long Island Weekly. "It was sort of a metaphor for the instant gratification. Are you sad? Take a pill. That's sort of the culture that we live in. Are you fat? Take a pill. Everybody is looking for some easy, short-cut way to find happiness and fulfillment and there just isn't. But it's work. It sucks, it's hard and it's consistent."

    He continued: "There's a line in 'Miracle Pill' where this guy asks this girl if she can be his miracle pill and I can be somebody else/I'm so sick of living inside of myself. It's like trying to find something external that will cure you. And we all know that it's an inside job."
  • Rzeznik can understand why people are so anxious for a quick fix when life gets them down, especially when there's no one to turn to in an unjust and disconnected society. "I think that our country for the last almost 20 years, we've been living in a state of this chronic, low-grade anxiety. And I think it's really starting to wear people down. I know there's times it wears me down. And we're living in an incredibly unfair society. Incredibly unfair. And I'm not talking about politics, I'm just making a social commentary," he told Forbes. "The album is about connection, loss of connection, the hope of making a connection. Look, we're turning into a very, very lonely, disconnected society. And it's starting to rear its head in very ugly, nasty ways. If there's no hope, there's going to be trouble."
  • For the album's old-school-meets-new-school vibe, Rzeznik used a combination of vintage recording gear and digital technology. The singer credits Sam Hollander, one of the album's producers, for being his partner on the quest for the right sounds. "He's so into the old-school way of doing things from the '50s, '60s, and '70s. He and I had been investing in this rack of gear, microphones, and old amps. We were scouring the internet and talking to older guitar techs and engineers. We had a conversation with the great producer and engineer Al Schmitt about how to mike an acoustic guitar the old way, you know? The old-school way," Rzeznik recalled to Sound & Vision.

    "So, we would get these beautiful sounds, and then we'd put them in the digital realm. And then what I like to do is mutilate the sounds with digital plug-ins. What I found as the biggest thrust of this world of making plug-ins and doing everything 'virtually,' or whatever you want to call it - the main focus of all of that technology is trying to make the recordings sound like they were done on analog gear. They're creating digital algorithms and impulse responses to make everything sound old, and shi--y!"
  • The music video, directed by Ed Gregory & Dan Cooper, features Rzeznik and Goo bassist Robby Takac in a room surrounded by white: white walls, white furniture, white frames. They're even wearing white suits and playing white guitars. As the video progresses, the guys recklessly splash bright streaks of paint around the room. By the end, they're jamming as buckets of paint are being tossed at them. Memorabilia from the shoot, including the duo's clothes, were auctioned off to benefit Compass House, a shelter for runaways and homeless teens.

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