Gwen Stefani’s Album of Love and Heartbreak, ‘This Is What the Truth Feels Like’
Last year, the singer and former No Doubt frontwoman went through a very public breakup and divorce from her husband of nearly 13 years, Gavin Rossdale, followed by her highly-publicized new relationship with her fellow Voice judge Blake Shelton.
Her emotional journey of heartbreak and finding new love happened to light the fire inside her to start writing new material for her third solo album, which was huge: she hadn’t put out a solo album in nearly 10 years, her second being 2006’s The Sweet Escape and her first being 2004’s Love.Angel.Music.Baby. Having described it as a “breakup record” on numerous occasions, This Is What it Feels Like (out today, March 18) also includes songs with a sense of dark humor, as well as some lighter, happy moments (thanks to her post-breakup romance with her new country music singer beau). She did, after all, describe her divorce to the New York Times as a “good, juicy story.”
In October, she told Entertainment Weekly about scrapping an entire album and starting fresh,
I needed to go through what I needed to go through to write the record that I needed to write…These songs are really natural — they’re from not worrying about what happened or what’s going to happen but about living in the moment, from trying to be present and trying to feel.
And she reiterated to Jimmy Kimmel in February,
What’s so crazy is that sometimes tragedy, if you really absorb it, you can turn it into something beautiful, and this whole album is about trying to take something that’s awful, and healing from it.
That being said, Stefani revealed to USA Today earlier this week that her very public divorce left her feeling “dead”:
I was dead. I was literally dead, like panicking – like anyone would be.
As for the actual brutal act of getting through recording, she expressed to Refinery29,
I just felt at a certain point in my own heart, when everything was crushed and I was down real, real low, I was like, I don’t want to be down here. This is not me. I remember feeling embarrassed. Like, I gotta prove that this is not going to be who I am. I gotta turn this into music.
With all that in mind as the basis for her album…
Her first single “Used to Love You” cuts deep for any sad and single soul, with lyrics like “You can keep all the memories/I thought I was the best thing that ever happened to you/I thought you loved me the most,” and “I don’t know why I cry/But I think it’s cause I remembered for the first time/Since I hated you/That I used to love you.”
On the inspiration behind “Used to Love You,” Stefani told KIIS FM’s JoJo Wright in November,
The song was not written that long ago. Like, I want to say maybe a month and half ago, which is crazy. I had been writing, writing because my life blew up. Everybody knows that my life blew up last February. I’d just been dealing with that. Unexpected. I was going along thinking that was going to be the rest of my life and it’s not. I don’t know what happened. I’ve always wanted to write music so desperately because doing it is one thing that really validates me for myself.
No one wondered who her second single, “Make Me Like You,” was about. She told Kimmel during the same February interview, “I will admit that that song is about that guy.” And in the music video, she is seen blissfully rollerskating through a bar denoted with Blake’s signage while she sings the lyrics, “Why’d you have to go and make me like you?/Yeah this is a feeling I’m not used to/Why’d you have to go and make me like you?/I’m so mad at you cause now you got me missing you.”
See her live-recorded music video from the Grammys below:
“Misery,” released on March 11 as a promotional single, encompasses both her past and new lovers in one song. Her lyrics are, for example, call for her new love (Shelton): “So put me out of my misery, hurry up come see me/Put me out of my misery, hurry up come see me/Enough, enough of this suffering, hurry up come see me/Put me out of my misery, put me out of my misery…”
Watch the lyric video below:
Yesterday, Stefani also released two snippets of two songs, “Splash” and “Getting Warmer,” included on the Target edition album, which features a total of four exclusive songs. Listen below, and order This Is What the Truth Feels Like on Target or on Amazon.
— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) March 17, 2016
— Gwen Stefani (@gwenstefani) March 17, 2016