It’s been 10 years since Gwen Stefani has released her second solo album. In that time, she has popped out three kids, run a successful clothing line, did a reboot with No Doubt, and most recently ended a messy marriage to Gavin Rossdale. You could say that a lot has happened in the last ten years. Throughout the album, Gwen Stefani addresses her failed relationship while opening herself to a new love. The first half of the album, Stefani laments over her failed marriage, while the second part focuses on a new love and her future with someone else. Though Gwen Stefani has had her ups and downs, she sticks to her pop roots to open up about the last 10 years and the future in “This Is What The Truth Feels Like.”
In this album, it is clear that Gwen Stefani is having an identity crisis. The pop star opens her album with “Misery,” where she stresses her disappointment over her lover. Torn between forgiving the mistakes, or breaking it off and moving forward, Stefani presents her inner conflicts. The subject of a failed marriage is heavy, but Stefani still has fun with this song with her upbeat chorus and lyrics that don’t drown out listeners. The strong electric bass backdrop enforces her vocals that creates a recipe for success for this song.
“Used To Love You” is an emotional ode to the memories of her ex-husband. Stefani incorporates an accordion and electric keyboard background to create an ominous tone to the song. The quivering and sniffling that Stefani uses throughout the track, emphasizes the emotion that makes it so raw throughout the track.
After the first half of the album that addresses her failed marriage, Stefani brings back her fun light hearted pop music with “Make Me Like You.” Stefani acts like 15 year-old madly in love with her new lover. With the catchy chorus and sighing in the background, Stefani adds her whimsical signature to this track. Her fun and creative love song, makes you forget that Stefani is making a love song. “You’re My Favorite” is probably one of my favorite songs off the album. In the R&B-based rhythms, Stefani channels Madonna with a stronger emphasis on her vocals and lyrical content. She admits that she is probably having a rebound moment, but at the moment this lover is her favorite.
Every Gwen Stefani fan knows that it’s never a Gwen Stefani album without her rapping in at least one track. In “Naughty,” the name says it all, Stefani raps about her sexual frustration with her lover. Though, Stefani is no Jay-Z, she brings her confidence with this song that makes it work so well. In “Asking 4 It,” Fetty Wap, has a guest appearance where the entire time he’s just slurring his words, whether Stefani intended this or not, it makes this song much more humorous and entertaining.
This album is like an open diary of Gwen Stefani’s life. All the lyrics are honest and truthful because it is coming from Stefani herself. From a messy divorce to a new relationship, Stefani has gone through it all. Her journey is relatable for anyone going through a difficult time in their life. Though she touches on serious emotions, she never forgets the quirky side of her music. Her music is still catchy as ever, and her “cool girl” image still holds true.