After a rocky start to Gwen Stefani’s third solo studio album—no thanks to the mediocre performing “Baby Don’t Lie” and embarrassing chart bomb “Spark The Fire”—surprisingly her divorce in 2015 marked a bright and much needed new beginning. After dissolving her 13 year marriage to Gavin Rossdale, Gwen was finally reenergized to create meaningful, relatable music once again.
This Is What The Truth Feels Like, is more than an album title, it describes what Gwen’s past year and life has been like. Part moody and slightly dark, part joyful and excited about the future and what life has to hold. Truth gives an honest open view of what moving on after ending a relationship is like for many.
What’s great about Gwen Stefani’s music—whether it’s her work with No Doubt or her solo endeavors—is that she has always been an eclectic artist who isn’t afraid to try new things, and experiment with various genres or sounds.
The album goes tribal on “War Paint” as Gwen becomes a warrior who isn’t fake just because she prepares herself with makeup and items before heading out into the world. Think of it almost as an anti bully jam where confidence is key to protecting oneself. The return of a more urban Stefani appears on Trap-Hip-Hop number “Asking 4 It.” Perfect for the occasion is Hip-Hop’s biggest breakout rapper/singer Fetty Wap who mutters a verse alongside Gwen questioning “Are you sure you wanna love me” to her partner, assuring them so they know exactly what they’re getting into.
Possibly one of, if not the best track on This Is What The Truth Feels Like is “Truth.” Its a song that makes you want to smile and realize there is a future or bright tomorrow in sight to any negative situation you may currently be in. Gwen’s feeling it, as she sings, “So this is what the truth feels like/this is more of what I had in mind.”
Gwen seems to be in a happy life currently. Whether its her new relationship with Blake Shelton or not, she finally is happily saved. “Misery” puts Stefani in the role of the damsel in distress who is saved by her prince charming. Funk-Pop “Make Me Like You,” is a bratty disco tune featuring classic Gwen Stefani vocals from the 90s. While “Rare” is an open devotion where Gwen states ”You’re rare/And only a stupid girl would let it go/don’t you know?” If this is indeed inspired by Shelton, is this a subtle Miranda Lambert diss?
This Is What The Truth Feels Like is indeed a strong comeback album from Gwen Stefani. Despite her last solo album being released a decade ago, Gwen still clearly has what it takes to create a great solo music. Surprisingly the album recently became her first solo album ever to top the Billboard 200, where it debuted. In many ways Gwen Stefani’s life in the last year turned out to be a blessing in disguise. She took a chapter of her life many people have experienced and poured it into an album that everybody feels like at some time in life.