I’ve enjoyed Gwen Stefani as a musician since her ‘No Doubt’ and ‘Can’t Speak’ days, and over the years, I’ve watched her transformation as an artist and fashionista. I recently watched an interview of her that touched upon her divorce; the bond she shares with Blake Shelton; and her ‘rebirth’ so to speak through her new album, ‘This is What The Truth Feels Like.’ She spoke on how music executives were not as ecstatic as she to release this heartfelt outpouring of emotions and vulnerabilities. Throughout the album, I get the sense that Stefani must have put on a smile and brave face a lot towards the end of her marriage to mask the disappointment and anger she felt.
Overall, the album surprised me. I didn’t think that I would find a handful of tracks to add to my playlist, which means, they’re going to be on repeat. I feel that the first half of Stefani’s album concentrates on the power of her lyrics (which are quite revealing), while the second half of the album concentrates on the ‘club-bangers,’ rhythm, beat, and getting you moving.
Tracks Definitely Going on my Playlist
Track 9 – Asking For It (featuring Fetty Wep) – Stefani’s collaborations is one of the things I have always liked about her. Her voice really melds well with Fetty Wep (who is more of a sing-rapper to me). She’s basically telling ‘the new man’ in her life that she has a ‘broken history,’ so you better be ready for everything she has to offer. I’m definitely adding this song to my playlist – it’s one to get your head bopping.
Track 11 –Me Without You – This is the ‘I’m Rid of my Ex…and I’m Going to Spread my Wings‘ anthem for the summer. I thought the song started out a little slow for my personal taste, but as it went along, it grabbed my attention, especially the beat, piano and keyboard parts. I love the chanty-like chorus, and the part when she sings ‘things are about to get real good’.
Track 12 – Rare – I love the melodic hook, where Stefani croons ‘rare’ with a roller coaster of romantic riffs. I think this is a pretty catchy song.
Track 7 – Send Me a Picture – The rhythm of this song really gets me moving…it gets the hips moving. I see myself blasting this song when I’m cooking in the kitchen, cleaning, or anything else that I may need a little extra motivation.
Track 2 – You’re my Favorite – I really like the hook of this song, and the beat is catchy, especially when Stefani drops into the hook. I can definitely see this track being played on rotation on the radio. At one time, Stefani’s voice reminds me a little of Madonna here. I’m on the fence on whether I’d put this on the playlist, but I definitely like it.
I’ve probably played Track 9 and Track 11 about 7 times each already.
The Rest of the Album
I can definitely appreciate the genuineness of Stefani’s lyrics, and the levels of experimentation she reaches, and quirky style of music that she creates. Here’s a snapshot of other songs on the ‘This is What The Truth Feels Like‘ album.
Track 1 – Misery – A love ballad that equates the feeling for another to being addicted to a drug.
Track 3 – Where Would I Be? – There are parts of this song that I really like, but then there are moments when the song loses me. The style kind of reminds me of a mashup of old school Stefani (post-No Doubt), Amy Winehouse, and Janelle Monet.
Track 4 – Make Me Like You – With an upbeat tempo, this song reminds me of someone walking on Cloud 9 – it sounds like someone in love!
Track 5 – Truth – Stefani’s voice is soft and sounds liberated in this song. It sounds like she is singing a page from a diary. She’s thanking someone for saving her, and it’s heartfelt.
Track 6 – Used to Love You – This song is about the realization that you ‘hate’ the person you once loved. Not really the type of song or rhythm I like.
Track 8 – Red Flag – I didn’t care for this song much. It made me think of Kirsten Dunst in the movie Marie Antoinette (2006) with a little bit of what Debbie Harry (Blondie) might sound like if she rapped today. Not my type of song.
Track 10 – Naughty – For me, this song was all over the place. It has a 2016-jazzy feel to it, and although this makes me think of a Black Eyed Peas song, this is definitely still Stefani’s style.
I would have loved to show you a video from one of the songs that I liked the best, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see what she releases in the future. So, I’ve included the video to the very first track on the album, titled “Misery”
Are you a Gwen Stefani fan?
For starters, you can order the album from iTunes and Target. And, if you order from Target, you get four exclusive tracks (Rocket Ship; Getting Warmer; Obsessed, and Splash).
Disclosure: I participated in this sponsored album review program as a member of One2One Network. I was provided the album to review but all opinions are my own.