Album Review: Gavin Rossdale – Wanderlust




To Gavin Rossdale,

It’s been a long time since you’ve actually released anything considered ‘relevant.’ That may sound like a harsh statement, but it’s certainly a truthful one. Between the last Bush record and now, which has been, believe it or not, eight years, you’ve thrown out a single (2002’s “Adrenaline” for that Vin Diesel film), you’ve started a horrible side project (2005’s lame Institute), and now this, your solo effort. To be honest, your only success since then has been your child, Kingston.

But then again, that’s half of Gwen’s effort, too.

To be blunt, this is a horrible album, Mr. Rossdale. Double vocal tracks? Nickelback-like sing alongs? What the hell were you thinking? Have you been living under a rock? This music is a joke. There’s only a few I can even stomach enough to listen through all the way. With songs like “If You’re Not With Us You Are Against Us”, it’s a wonder how this ever made it through the record companies.

At least with Institute there were some songs to be salvaged. Hell, even “Adrenaline” had a few hooks. Here, you’re relying on your name (which has been out of the spotlight for nearly a decade) and your voice alone, which is slaughtered under the digital layering that you might consider “hip.” Your lyrics were once fascinating, probably because they made little to no sense, but that was okay. Now, you lack that mysterious punch that made “Letting The Cables Sleep” and “Warm Machine” so invigorating.

This doesn’t seem like an overnight thing, either. This laziness was apparent even on Institute, where some songs carried bullshit slogans like, “Walk fast through burning buildings/Kill youth with your easy listening.” Pardon my French, but what the fuck? And don’t get me started on the interpretations here, like the “atmospheric” clusterfuck of “Frontline”, which carries lyrics like “Standing on the frontline/Devil got me doing time”.

Wow. That deep, huh?

Even in the abysmal wasteland that is this solo effort, there is something to respect (albeit self deprecatingly). “The Trouble I’m In” reminds us why we’ve stuck around with the British loon all these years. It’s not much, but given the resulting album, it’s an improvement. Unfortunately, that’s about it.

So here’s what you do, Mr. Stefani. It’s obvious that your film career is going nowhere. Does anyone even remember 2005’s Constantine? Did this year’s The Bank Job make you a family name? No and no. And if my own bickering and negativity sold you on the notion that this solo career isn’t such a hot idea, then where does this leave you?

How about doing what everyone else is doing and start up the ol’ band again? Sure, it’s contrived, but hey, so is this. And to think, the market wants it, too! Stone Temple Pilots is going strong now. Both Blind Melon and Alice in Chains are rocking across the globe and their lead singers have been dead for nearly a decade. So, what’s stopping Bush?

It’s the logical thing to do now. This solo album? Beyond illogical. It’s asinine bordering on insane, actually. There’s no need to pursue this further than the few tour dates you have penciled in. If you can even cancel those, I’d recommend it.

Time to start making some calls, beginning with Nigel.

-A concerned fan

p.s. And to think, this was the planned Bush follow up! Yikes!