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Gavin Rossdale
Wanderlust
Interscope Records
www.gavin-rossdale.net


Past: Gavin Rossdale = Bush and Bush = Post-Grunge Rock. Now: Gavin Rossdale = melodic love songs. Eh? As a long time Bush fan, I had to give the once angry lead singer his fair shot and really give the album a listen.

Wanderlust just hit stores this summer and already it has a hit single. "Love Remains The Same" has been seen on The Ellen Show and even [in] a movie trailer. And it's apparent that the fan base for this new project from Gavin is geared towards a slightly different set of people. With the first song "Can't Stop The World", already the tempo is slower, the tone is higher and the lyrics aren't as hard as what we all were accustomed to. The future is bright and optimistic, sure I can accept that. "Forever May You Run" starts off as a quite beautiful song. Very soft and simple. A mostly acoustic song, it begs for a slow dance at a prom. The higher octaves that Gavin hits on this album fit nicely with this one. "Future World" is probably one of the most unique songs on the album. Starting off with purely vocals and a basic drum beat, it sucks you in to listen to the rest of the song. The chorus takes a bit of a pop turn, becoming very catching and lighter than everything else, yet the mixture of some prominent guitar riffs and a female backup, keeps that uniqueness flowing throughout. You finally come to the hit single at #7. Normally the hit songs sit nearer to the beginning, about the #2 or #4 spot, requiring you to listen to at least a song or two before getting to the one that was most likely the reason you bought the CD in the first place. So putting it smack dab in the middle has a slight risk, although, for the envelopes that Bush pushed years ago, this is nothing. As love ballads go, this is one of the best I've heard. "Everything will change, but love remains the same" are very simple and basic lyrics yet produce a strong emotion out of anyone listening. It's no "Glycerine," but still one of my favorites.

After the hit song, you really have to show your stuff in order to keep the fans going. "If You're Not With Us, You Are Against Us" is the first song that I thought "wait, is this Bush?" It's dark, somber, and harsh. "Bravery if you think you can take us/Bravery if you think you can beat us" is perfect for anyone trying to psych themselves up or about to tackle a huge challenge. "This Is Happiness" continues that feeling of "Bush-ness" that obviously still lingers in not only Gavin but Chris Traynor (guitarist- also formerly of Bush). This song is chaotic, almost unstructured. There's really no rhyme or reason to it, it simply is. And it requires a couple listens before really appreciating it.

The final song isn't really a song at all. "This Place Is On Fire" clocks in at about a minute long. There are no instruments or backup vocals. It's purely Gavin and a synthesizer. It kind of brings a psychedelic ending to the album. Perhaps it came from the deep realms of Rossdale's mind or it was simply something recorded while messing around. Either way I'm not going to try to understand it, I'll simply enjoy. If you really want to experience it, watch it on a visualizer on some type of media player.

If you're trying to debate whether to buy this album, I don't blame you. For the new audience, it'll be a hit, I'm sure of it. For the long time Bush fans it could go one of two ways: either you'll buy it and love it out of respect for Gavin and his genius, or you'll just try to hold on to the fond memories of "Machinehead" and "Cold Contagious." It's up to you.

-Rachel Fredrickson

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