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“[..]Now some might receive a disc from a friend and dread listening to it, but not me. I couldn’t wait. From the opening track, a Cars’ infused hand clapping hoot called “Watch Out,” I was impressed. Juan Avila’s songs are infectious power pop, from start to finish. Gooey is Avila’s band through and through – his songs, his vocals. And that’s good. He’s got solid skills.

There’s a distinct ’80s’ vibe here, the good kind. There’s the aforementioned Ocasek influence for one. “That I Were” has a bit of jangly R.E.M. (I know “jangly” is the go-to adjective for that clanging guitar sound, but there’s not another good word for it). Bowie looms large in “Long Time Ago,” both in sound and vocal, and there’s even a cover of “Moonage Daydream.” T.I.’s “Whatever You Like” gets Gooeyed too. That one’s a kick.”
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– Jeff Katz, Ragazine.CC

“Gooey is Chicago’s unique power-pop quintet led by singer/songwriter Juan Avila. Their laid-back vibes coupled with the energetic undertones of artists like Matthew Sweet and The Beatles deliver an emotional rollercoaster of sound.  For Workaholics Anonymous, the band offers the gentle revelation that is “Busy Day,” a magical morning overture that keeps its gaze toward life’s new adventures, whilst still clutching onto the playful innocence of youth.”

– Robert Bartolome, RAB Studios, Workaholics Anonymous

“Jangly power-pop never goes out of style and Juan Avila and his band Gooey continue to fly the flag high. He strums and croons with considerable energy, flaunting the typical Matthew Sweet and Beatles influences and delivering more than the requisite number of indelible hooks and heartfelt tales of romance and love lost.”

– Jim DeRogatis, Former Chicago Sun Times rock critic and current co-host of Sound Opinions on NPR.

“I really like this…surprisingly good disc…sounds terrific…its quite a striking disk;  it’s really strong…quite good…the disc is a job well done…Avila’s songs, vocals, and guitar shine through…”

Richard Milne, 93.1 WXRT, Chicago, Local Anesthetic

“Gooey is the best locally produced CD I have heard in a long time. Recorded at Uptown Recording, it is evident from the start that a lot of people put a lot of effort in producing this collection of songs written by Juan Avila, who also wrote the music for all the songs except “Lost” which was co-written with Matt Denny, and performed by his band, Gooey.
Avila sings his songs backed up by a host of talented artists including Henry Jansenn and Jim Sawyer (drums), Tim Bales and Rob Ruccia (trumpet, trombone), Matt Denny (organ, piano, acoustic guitar), Colleen Goldsborough (violin) and Devin Nowakowski (banjo). There are more artists who provide musical as well as vocal enhancements to the simple yet intense lyrics (such as “For You”) which make this CD rock.
The variety in this CD is amazing from the whimsical “Birdie” which has a tinge of Luvin’ Spoonful bounce to “So,” which recalls, perhaps, a little Partridge Family. There is an overall flavor reminiscent of the George Harrison post Beatles album “All Things Must Pass,” but make no mistake, these are original, free spirited recordings which showcase Avila’s poetic ability and musical talent.
Orchestration and arrangement of the songs is top notch. Variety is the key to it’s success in presentation. “Busy Day” recalls the sunshine-style songs of Donovan and then we are introduced to a lament in “Little Boy Blue,” where Avila mourns the fact that his mother didn’t understand him (we’ve all been there) as he sings, “momma doesn’t like the way I talk/ so I don’t say much/ although there’s so much on my mind.”
The words touch us with a familiarity of having been where Avila has been. The songs are new but the experiences are as old as time. Love found; love lost and everyday occurrences such as sung in “Weatherman,” and “Lonely Girl,” connect with the listener.
And that is what makes this CD worth listening to: it connects. Judging from the CD, Gooey will have no problem connecting with a growing following as their music is heard around Chicagoland.”

– Joe Hertel, The Independent, Northeastern Illinois University