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PopEntertainment.com > Reviews > Record Reviews > Gavin Rossdale

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Gavin Rossdale Wanderlust (Interscope) 

About a decade ago, Brit singer Gavin Rossdale was a major rock star.  Well, not under his own name - he was frontman of late Clinton-era grunge rockers Bush.  Unfortunately his Bush went downhill at about the same time another, less talented Bush gained power in a different arena. 

Now, with Dubya's star seriously on the wane, surprisingly Rossdale is finally getting around to throwing himself back into the music fray - releasing his first solo CD seven years after his old band split following the muted reaction to their final CD Golden State in 2001.

He hasn't been completely out of the loop in that time.  He did lead another band called Institute which released an album called Distort Yourself in 2005.  That album sounded a whole hell of a lot like his old group (though a little more rootsy) and most people didn't even notice its release.  Therefore, in the aughties, Rossdale is better known as Mr. Gwen Stefani than he has been as a musician.

After its long gestation time, Rossdale has learned from the errors of Institute and released his solo debut, Wanderlust.  This CD sounds almost nothing like his old band, it is a stripped down pop-rock disk which is actually his best release since Razorblade Suitcase in 1996.  However, it is also a blatant sellout, courting a wide audience in a way in which Rossdale would have derided in the old days.

The new, improved Rossdale is shown with his pretty hit ballad "Love Remains the Same."  It is a sweet, beautiful whisper of love and contentment - and about as far from old Bush songs like "Machinehead" and "Glycerine" as possible.

Of course, it is Rossdale's right to reinvent himself and Wanderlust is reminiscent of some of the less eccentric corners of Peter Gabriel and Sting's catalogue.  Particularly the vague world beat of "Frontline" and "Future World" feel immediately familiar but are undeniably catchy.

That said, he doesn't really rock anymore so much.  For an album called Wanderlust, this is a pretty middle of the road affair.  Only in the duet "The Trouble I'm In," with Garbage leader Shirley Manson, does Rossdale legitimately rock out.  

Dave Strohler

Copyright 2008 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: July 5, 2008.

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Copyright 2008 PopEntertainment.com.  All rights reserved.  Posted: July 5, 2008.