Sunday, March 20, 2016

Gwen Stefani--This Is What The Truth Feels Like Review

I've been a fan of No Doubt since I was 10 years old.  I've written about this before.  They changed my life, saved it really and ever since then I have followed both the band and Gwen Stefani, pretty close.  I'm the person that friends and family tag when there is any ND/Gwen news.  If there is a rumor, yo I'll get to the bottom of it, those close to me know that.  When Gwen announced her heartbreaking divorce from Gavin Rossdale all of us (fans or not) let out a collective "NOOOOO" or "WHAAAAT?" as we all thought this would be the relationship that never ended.  After feeling terrible for her, I thought to myself "she must be writing her ASS off right now."  It appears I was right and what was born out of the tragedy was "This Is What The Truth Feels Like".  

On the fence?  I'm going to cover all of the songs (including the Japan release)

1.  "Misery"

Misery is a slow pop song with a light synth and some clapping with snapping thrown in.  When I first heard it I couldn't figure out if it was a sad song or a happy one, turns out its really both.  My assumption is a girl in misery over a break up and the begging for someone to put her out of her misery. One other way I interpreted it was the misery of being separated in a new relationship.  This is one of my favorites on the album

Put me out of my misery/Hurry up come see me/Enough enough of this suffering

2. "You're My Favorite"

This one reminds me of a classic 90's R&B song. Another slow song with bubbly undertones and a snap filled hook.  No doubt (no pun intended) about a certain someone being her favorite person to be around.  The title is pretty self explanatory and this song is another winner, although not one of my favorites.

Oh, but out of everything, you're my favorite/I tried a lot of things, but you're my favorite

3.  "Where Would I Be?"

I get another early 90's vibe from this one with a little bit of jazz thrown in, some rapping with a side of reggae.  I know how that sounds but honestly it really works together.  Another Blake inspired song about her wondering where she would be if he hadn't swooped her off her feet.  It is honestly really cute.  My only opposition to the song is the middle rap part "WUUUUT UH UH" not for me, but overall I like the song as a whole.

Where would I be boy/If you didnt love me boy/If you didnt love me boy

4.  "Make Me Like You"

The second single off the album caught everyones attention, and the first ever live music video shown during the Grammys didn't hurt either.  The song is really fresh and happy, and all about new love, whats not happy about that?  Gwen is just settling into her new single life and here comes Blake making her fall for him.  I really like this song, but I have heard it so much from it being a single that it has not convinced me to like it again...yet

Oh I can't believe it/How good it could be/Didn't wanna believe it/but now you are all I see

5.  "Truth"

One of the best songs I think Gwen has ever written.  I don't think there is enough good things I can say about it.  You can hear the pain and relief in her voice.  After what sounds like years and years of lies, she is finally discovering what its like to be in an honest and truthful relationship.  Its really beautiful and heartfelt.  Shes aware you are all calling her relationship a rebound and she doesn't care what you think.  Definitely one of my top 2 for this album.

So this is what the truth feels like/This is more of what I had in mind/Yeah this is what the truth feels like/And I'm feeling it/I'm feeling it

6.  "Used To Love You"

The heartbreaking first single off of this album is so incredibly raw and powerful.  When I say that I mean its on "Don't Speak" level.  So angry and hurt by the sudden implode of her world she realizes it hurts so much because she used to love that total asshat.   I said I was doing a review, I never said I was a professional people!  This is a song that anyone that has ever had their heart broken can relate to.  We love you Gwen!

Suitcase, band-aids/Pulling back out the driveway/You go I'll stay/
You can keep all the memories

7.  "Send Me A Picture"

Totally sexy song, great beat and makes you want to send a dirty picture to someone.  However me personally I have a hard time getting past "picture" sounding like "pitcher".  Total pet peeve of mine, no fault of Gwen's.  I do love the range of her voice in this song though!

I don't wanna wait cause the anticipation is killing me/I don't wanna/wait no/I don't wanna wait

8.  "Red Flag"

Starts off with sad violins and then all of a sudden sad Gwen turns into Badass Gwen and look out.  If you want a peek into what Gwen and Gavins relationship was like, listen to this song as you read the lyrics.  It is for the most part rapped (think Orange County Girl).  Gwen recounts all of the red flags she encounters that she self admittedly ignored.  She is pretty harsh on herself too, calling herself a loser and saying she has no common sense.  Gwen none of this is your fault, its easy to look over things when you are in love.  Remember HE is the asshat here.  I love this song and when I want to feel cool I over rap this with hand movements and facial expressions until I pull up to a stoplight, freeways are fair game, if a car catches me I just make sure I'm faster than them.

Big mistake/red flags fly/Right here/but I close my eyes/Carelessly/I let it slide

9.  "Asking 4 It (ft. Fetty Wap)"

This song feels so out of place and it is probably my least favorite song. The message is well received, shes finding herself and Blake is asking for it by getting involved with her.  I can think of a million different ways this song could have been executed with the lyrics she wrote, but I'm a housewife in the OC and she has an entire team of producers so I'm going to accept that I may not know what I'm talking about.  This song just isn't for me

You're asking for it/you're asking for it/I dare ya/dare ya/dare ya

10.  "Naughty"

Oh boy, Naughty.  "Asking 4 It" is like a palate cleanser after "Red Flag" because I don't think we would have been able to handle "Red Flag" and "Naughty" back to back.  "Red Flag" gives us an insight to their turbulent relationship and then "Naughty" tells us pretty much what the final straw was.  She writes it so detailed you can literally picture it.  She has his phone in her hand (she has the codes she explains) finds whatever she finds and then looses it (rightfully) wagging her finger in his face.  "HA Oh my gawd" she yells in the background, my guess meaning "do you have any idea how stupid you are asshat? THATS how you tried to hide it?"  She said in a recent interview that she wished she could tell us what happened because it is a "juicy story" but this is pretty clear.  Without saying it she confirms part (of not all) of what we heard that total asshat did.  I mean she DOES say "you did it you did it, and then you hid it you hid it).  Overall its a very sultry song, plenty juicy. 

Thinking that nobody/nobody knows/But I got your number/I got your codes/This ain't the first time at the rodeo/hello

11.  "Me Without You"

Gwen is done in this song.  Its like a 2016 version of Gloria Gaynor's "I Will Survive".  Shes going to be just fine without you asshat, don't you worry.  Yeah maybe she needed you before but its time to be Gwen not Mrs. Rossdale, and shes not scared anymore.  Bye bye asshat

No I don't need you/not a little bit/To myself/I've finally admitted it
No I don't need you/not a little bit

12.  "Rare"

I was so glad to see this album end on a happy note (literally).  Its an uplifting song about being thankful to someone that has done nothing but treat you better than you have ever been treated in your life.  Finding a person like that is "Rare".  I keep reading media stuff about this song saying that Gwen is calling Miranda a "stupid girl" based on the line "Only a stupid girl would let you go".  I think it could be taken one of two ways.  Either she is calling Miranda stupid OR she is saying she herself would be stupid to let it go.  I really think its the latter but its kind of fun to leave people guessing and talking too.  This is another one of my favorites on the album.

You're so good and you don't even know/You're rare
And only a stupid girl would let you go/don't you know?

Bonus Tracks (Target) 

Buy From Target HERE

"Rocket Ship"

Shes leaving asshat in the dust, like so far behind her that she mine as well be in space.  Its a very funk sounding song.  Less singing on this track and more talk singing.  Not one of my favorites, but I didn't think it was bad

You've been wrapping these chains all around me/On a leash/thinking I'd obey/I know exactly what you think about me/That I wouldn't/that I couldn't escape

"Getting Warmer"

Another one of my favorites.  It totally reminds me of an 80's song that seamlessly transitions into 90's and then even trancey.  Its sexy, her voice is amazing, and you can dance to it.  I don't even know how else to describe it, it really is that good in my opinion.

I got an idea/you can save me and I can save you
I got an idea/we can be nice and we can tell the truth


The "na na na"s in this song remind me of the Spice Girls .  This would be a really good song to work out to or even dance around the house.  It is energetic, fast, and jumpy.  Not one of my favorites but it still has a place on this album

Got my windows down/Guess I'm not going home/No I'm not going home


I don't know why but when the song first starts I think of Bowie, and I love it.  Quickly it leads into Gwen rapping on another sultry sexy track.  This song can be interpreted in so many ways, I think it is part cleansing, starting over, new love, and finding yourself.  It is a song that you may not like at first but the more you listen he more you get sucked in and want more.  The guitar solo is pretty awesome and gives me so much 80's realness, its a perfect addition to the song. I likey

Must be a sign/All the energy's pulling me right back to you
Tonight gonna bottle you up and wear it like perfume

Japanese Bonus Tracks


This is one that I really feel like should have made it on the regular release.  It is another one that fits into the entire flow of the album. Her voice is raw and empowering, sad and truthful.  The lyrics are all her working through her thoughts in what seem like real time. 

You're so guilty/come on/just surrender/talking in circles
Did I love you?/I can't remember

"War Paint"

I was thrown off by War Paint when I first heard it.  "WTF is this" I said out loud.  After U got through the heavy tribal sound I actually settled in and listened to the lyrics.  I listened to it about 3 or 4 times before I really decided what I think its about.  This sounds like a woman on a mission.  My honest reaction was her getting ready for court, confronting asshat, or just getting ready to take on the world as Gwen Stefani for the first time in 20 years.  We are so ready for you Gwen

Some scars you just can't cover up/Here I am again/This time I just have had enough

Overall this album is a must.  Does it sound like No Doubt? NO, its not a No Doubt album.  It doesn't even sound like anything she has ever put out before in regards to her solo stuff.  I personally was a little worried not too long ago when "Baby Dont Lie" and "Spark The Fire" came out.  It just wasn't Gwen.  Even though I don't like every single song I still haven't skipped any of them.  This is coming from someone that does skip certain No Doubt songs and other Gwen solo works.  If you are on the fence, don't be.  There is literally something for everyone on this album.  Just go out and buy it, you will not regret it.  If you have ever been in a new relationship or had your heartbroken then this is for you.  That's pretty much everyone--so go


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