Gwen Stefani’s new album, ‘This is What the Truth Feels Like,” was spurred by her split with Gavin Rossdale and her new relationship with fellow “Voice” coach Blake Shelton. Stefani sings selections from the new release at KeyArena Wednesday, Aug. 24.
Gwen Stefani has never shied away from being the outspoken woman in front, from her mid-’90s debut with the punk-ska band No Doubt to her coaching position on “The Voice.”
Her new album, “This is What the Truth Feels Like,” brings her to KeyArena Wednesday (Aug. 24). It’s yet another exhibit in the Stefani “Hollaback Girl” museum of stylish self-possession.
The last year has held much tumult for the 46-year-old pop star. Her 13-year marriage to Gavin Rossdale, member of the band Bush and father of her three sons, came to an abrupt end in 2015. In the wake of that relationship’s demise, Stefani connected with country singer and fellow “Voice” judge Blake Shelton, who was also going through a divorce.
7 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 24, at KeyArena, 305 Harrison Street, Seattle; $29.95-$149.95 (800-745-3000 or ticketmaster.com).
“This Is What the Truth Feels Like” was born in the midst of this upheaval. It is a decidedly more personal album. The anthemic single “Misery” and the bouncy, disco-feel of “Make Me Like You” cut to the bone of her marriage to Rossdale. They also divulge how broadsided she felt by her intense bond with Shelton. On the album’s tender, quiet title track, Stefani actually thanks Shelton for “saving” her.
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While “This is What the Truth Feels Like” is arguably her most vulnerable release, Stefani is no stranger to breakup albums. In fact, the release that put her on the map, No Doubt’s “Tragic Kingdom,” was written after her breakup with the band’s bass player, Tony Kanal.
Writing “Tragic Kingdom,” which sold over 16 million copies, was a vital coping mechanism for Stefani. Almost 20 years later, “This is What the Truth Feels Like” appears to be serving the same purpose.
Perhaps this is why the new album feels more like her work with No Doubt than previous solo releases “Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” or the underwhelming “The Sweet Escape.”
“Truth,” the climactic title track of the new album, echoes “Don’t Speak,” the moody hit single off 1995’s “Tragic Kingdom.” One of the first songs Stefani ever wrote, “Don’t Speak” had a certain simple magic — hinging on a mix of angsty lyricism and bright dance pop. Much of “This is What The Truth Feels Like” builds on that same intermingling of moods.
As Stefani said in a pre-tour press conference, “ ‘Tragic Kingdom’ was pure; this new album was pure. And so I don’t know — there is a similarity between the two albums, emotionally, and the kind of, like the intention or the purpose for making them … it’s all I could do, you know what I mean, to save my own life.”