Review Summary: "For our love, for our fear, for our rise against the years and years and years"
After their previous album, The Science of Things
, many fans and critics were displeased with Bush's choice of direction- I actually thoroughly enjoyed it- so on Golden State
, they retreated from the electronic touches and stuck to the straight-forward post-grunge sound that had gained them fame in the first place. Whether this was a successful comeback or too-little-too-late, it was definitely a return to their original sound, if not a little bit more textured and varied. It would be hard to be as simplistic as Sixteen Stone
begins the album with with a pleasant, uncertain sort of clean guitar riff, keyboard sounds wafting in the background, creating a mysterious feel... and in comes that sauntering bass, you immediately feel a lot like you're listening to their first album again. It's a promising intro, but it's not the most memorable work they've ever done, d it took a few listens before this song stuck with me. but once it did, I developed a fondness for it, it's a good opener.
"Head of Ghosts"
is where the album demonstrates it's best, solid Bush melodies, solid Bush riffing. Gavin Rossdale isn't exactly the best lyricist, often making little to no sense, and there's often a disconnect emotionally because of that. It's hard to tell if you can relate, or if it doesn't mean anything. But sometimes, even though the words are just as cryptic as ever, he hits some incredible emotional chords in the listener. This is an example of this. "Where is my head, where are my bones, why are my days so far from home?" Immediately following this is the lead single "The People That We Love"
. Once again, among the best of their work. Great melodies that will stick with you, and the music captures the spirit of it all.
has a chorus that I sang over and over, much to the chagrin of everyone around me, and even to my own annoyance- despite enjoying every moment of it.. "Fugitive"
feels a little bit too much like other songs they've done, and it signals a drop in quality. The chorus and verse are too closely connected, flowing together and feeling like they go nowhere. "Hurricane"
continues, and it becomes clear that one of Bush's weaknesses is quite present on this album; forgettable songs.
Even back on Sixteen Stone, for every "Machine Head"
, there was at least a "Testosterone"
and a "Monkey"
. At their very best, Bush write songs that lodge themselves so deeply into your brain tissue you're begging yourself to forget. At their worst... Well, like an operation under anesthesia, you know you experienced it, but you really don't remember. "Reasons"
, "Land of The Living"
, and "Out of This World"
are like this. I don't list "Inflatable"
because it's chorus actually does feature that sticky quality, despite the verses launching themselves at your mind and sliding off like they're water and your brain is a duck's back. (Have fun with that mental imagery.)
The album closes with "Float"
, as does their career, I suppose. And, you know, it feels
like an ending, it's a grand song, it feels a lot like you are flying as he sings "As you fly into space...". The melody, words, and music come together perfectly, and seem the right way to end things, showing that despite all the forgettable songs, there's still that songwriting ability in there.
And so ended Bush, and I think the best way to sum up the album and their career, really, is to say; it was good.