The Daily Gamecock

New Bush album 'Black and White Rainbows' fails to impress

Release Date: March 10, 2017

Label: Zuma Rock Records  

Duration: 57 minutes 

Grade: C

Having been around since the 1990s, Bush is no stranger to ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­creating new, innovative rock music, but they fall short of that expectation in their latest release, “Black and White Rainbows.” For a powerhouse in the rock genre, Bush’s seventh studio album is overwhelmingly average. This music is nothing new from the band and it fails to engage listeners because it doesn’t push boundaries — it just stays safe. Bush has gotten comfortable in their music and it shows as they follow ordinary rhythms with lackluster lyrics.

Led by Gavin Rossdale, this British band is no stranger to the rock front, as they gained massive popularity in the U.S. in the '90s with their albums “Sixteen Stone” and “Razorblade Suitcase.” But they seem to have forgotten where they came from. Bush’s new music is without the rough edges characteristic of their genre. If rock could be elevator music, “Black and White Rainbows” would be it. And for an album with 15 songs and lasts 57 minutes, that isn’t something to brag about.

The album starts off as strong as it can, pulling the listener in with catchy rhythms and upbeat choruses, but the strengths soon give way to the repetitive nature of the lyrics and the made-to-be-a-bestseller vibe the music gives off. By the middle of the album, all of the appeal has worn off and there’s still seven tracks left.

It doesn’t help that a majority of the songs cover every emotion one can feel after a breakup — over and over again. Rossdale clearly used this album as a release for all his pent-up emotion about his divorce from fellow musician Gwen Stefani and the tracks range from still being in love in “Mad Love” to needing a nurse to get over his pain in “Nurse.” And then there’s “Toma Mi Corazon” in which Rossdale combines Spanish and English in a weird and confusing way to tell a woman to take his heart.

The songs that aren’t about his divorce are just all around lacking. “Sky Turns Day Glo,” a song perhaps meant to deliver an important message about global warming instead only makes the listener question the ridiculous lyrics like “the polar bears are weeping.” In another track, “People at War,” Bush tries to tackle the problem of war in the Middle East and sadly, it’s a flop with a message that really doesn’t inspire anyone.

In the end “Black and White Rainbows” teaches us that no rhythm or beat can cover up terrible lyrics. If this is supposed to be a new and improved Bush, maybe the band should revisit and revise. Their sound has become too focused on making it onto the radio, such to the point that it has lost all of its strengths. Bush needs to learn an amateur lesson late in their career that staying true to who they are as musicians is essential to creating good music.