Bush at one time were one of the most popular bands in the world. That time has come and gone. For the last few years, the band has stopped and started several times. Each time they do return the results are not great. Black and White Rainbows is their seventh studio album and sadly falls into the weaker spectrum of their discography.
One thing that currently has going for them is their elevated presence in the public eye due to main man Gavin Rossdale being a judge on the UK version of The Voice. It seems that Rossdale himself has taken this to heart and written an album that reflects this. Black and White Rainbows is a sinfully boring album designed to reach the UK mainstream in ways that Bush never really did.
As cynical as that sounds, it’s a reflection of the album itself. Opening track and lead single ‘Mad Love’ is a typical Bush single that wouldn’t feel out of place on Radio One’s lunch time rotation, but offers nothing new. It’s plodding and features a somewhat jarring female vocal that feels out of place and tacked on.
There is a very going through the motions vibe to the record that makes the listener wonder why it exists in the first place. Even more curiously every song on here is written by Gavin Rossdale. I can’t help feeling like this would have benefitted from being a solo album. It certainly would have come under less scrutiny from people.
The main problems here seem to be fundamentally at a songwriting level. Everything is so lifeless, there is no energy or any sense of passion here. We get it, you and your wife got a divorce and it makes you sad. Driving that point home over beige riffs and monotone vocals is enough to drive anyone away though. No amount of mainstream coverage is going to remedy that.
Gavin Rossdale has proven in the past that he is a talented songwriter. It’s a shame he now comes across as a man who is out of touch. Black and White Rainbows is an instantly forgettable album that further diminishes an already dwindling legacy.