What can Alternative Control say about Gwen Stefani’s new album? This is What the Truth Feels Like is airy, poppy, and probably a little different than what most of our readers listen to. For those of us who remember being in middle school and thinking No Doubt was the coolest thing since Tamigotchis, Stefani is a perplexing character. Her career has spanned a time period that some would call a tragic kingdom for popular music — where notoriety is more important than artistry and music is just one more disposable commodity. As a three-time Grammy winner and Voice judge who has fingers in fashion, TV production, and even children’s toys, Stefani — for better or worse — is royalty in this kingdom.
But what about the album? Well, there’s something strange about hearing a forty-six-year old mother of three moaning about being “Naughty,” even if Stefani does look like she’s twenty-five. On the other hand, I don’t think I’m in Stefani’s target demographic anymore. This is What the Truth Feels Like belongs in downtown Stamford on a Saturday night — “Me Without You” would be a perfect anthem for newly single ladies in their best club clothes. (Stefani is a newly single lady herself, although she has a hunky country singer for a boyfriend…) Overall, the album has a relaxed vibe. My favorite song was the final track, “Rare.” And the feel-good number “Make Me Like You” has some real stuck-in-your-head potential for a whole new generation of tweens.
If you’re looking for the ska-pop of your youth, this isn’t what it feels like. But if you’re ready to dip your toe into the future, er, present, you can find This Is What It Feels Like on iTunes and at Target. (FYI, the Target version has four bonus tracks.) Stefani’s site also has a limited number of special bundles which can be purchased here.
FTC 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.