Rolling Stone - 7/19/01, p.523 stars out of 5
- "...This slick and listenable reunion album...doesn;t attempt to update the band's sound with hip-hop moves or electronic frippery, God bless 'em....it sounds like vintage Go-Go's and manages to be consummately modern at the same time..."
Spin - 6/01, p.1556 out of 10
- "...The production lunges out of the speakers and boxes your ears, and there are plenty of tart kiss-off songs....it could almost pass for a Rutles-style pastiche of vintage Go-Go's..."
Q - 12/01, p.1353 stars out of 5
- "...A cute and respectable return..."
Uncut - 12/01, p.1203 stars out of 5
- "...The surf-pop bubbles..."
The Go-Go's: Belinda Carlisle (vocals); Charlotte Caffey (guitar, piano, background vocals); Jane Wiedlin (guitar, background vocals); Kathy Valentine (bass guitar, background vocals); Gina Schock (drums, percussion).
Additional personnel: Billie Joe Armstrong (vocals, guitar); Roger Manning (Mellotron).
All five original Go-Go's are back with their first album since 1984's TALK SHOW, but don't label this reunion a nostalgia trip. With GOD BLESS, the now-wiser quintet reaffirms itself as the premier female rock band. Produced by Paul Kolderie and Sean Slade (Hole's LIVE THROUGH THIS, Radiohead's THE BENDS), the album is tight throughout, replete with the pop hooks and harmonies for which the group is known. There are some all-out rockers ("Stuck in My Car"), but when the girls slow it down and add strings they deliver a top-notch ballad.
The theme of self-assertion and independence surfaces on "Unforgiven" and "Apology." The former may be the band's best single since "We Got The Beat;" a catchy, radio- friendly number co-written by Green Day's Billy Joe Armstrong (who also guests on guitar and vocals). "Apology" is a smooth-as-silk track that finds Belinda Carlisle proclaiming "I'm sorry...but I have no regrets." Leadoff cut "La La Land" proves that Ms. Carlisle has lost none of her vocal edge. GOD BLESS THE GO-GO's indeed.