Gavin Rossdale- Wanderlust

By Chris Dahlberg

Published on Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Former Bush front man Gavin Rossdale has been out of the spotlight for a couple of years now, having only released one album with his new group Institute before letting it disappear entirely. Now, three years later Rossdale has decided to release material as a solo artist in collaboration with some of his former band mates and some other special guests. The result is Wanderlust, an album that sees this well known singer expand into new territory that is different from his days in Bush but not quite as memorable.

Wanderlust is far from a rehash of Bush. Though some of the material has somber and depressive lyrical content, this is a very different sounding Gavin Rossdale than fans may have been expecting. Now surrounded by softer and mellow instrumental arrangements, he has been able to expand his vocal range to be even lighter than before. Here Rossdale sounds as though he is in his element, and it works extremely well. However, at times it seems hard to take some of the lyrical content seriously. Quite a few of these songs find him sounding sad and depressed, something I find a little hard to believe is coming from the man happily married to Gwen Stefani.

The instrumentals here are typically very mellow, but the occasional track (such as “This is Happiness”) see the tempos increase significantly and the riffs get slightly heavier. And while there are certainly some standout moments, as a whole Wanderlust just isn’t quite as memorable as it could be. Every song has been produced in an extremely clean and compressed manner, making the music often feel distant from the listener. This isn’t to say that fans won’t find this album enjoyable, but it certainly feels like this isn’t Gavin Rossdale’s best work.

Gavin Rossdale’s first solo album sees the former Bush and Institute front man changing styles and adding more melody to his music than ever before. Unfortunately, this direction hasn’t resulted in his most memorable material yet thanks to some questionable lyrics and canned production. Big fans of Bush will still enjoy this disc, but everyone else may want to wait and see what Rossdale has up his sleeve in the future.

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