(2001) peaked at #22 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. It rocked out pretty good with some sharp edged guitar leads, but there were also a lot of cheesy interludes involved. Then the band took a decade long break before releasing The Sea of Memories
(2011), which peaked at #18 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. It had its rocking moments with early eighties new wave styled textures, but it was mostly over dramatic and too cheesy. This current album, Man on the Run
(2014), peaked at #33 on the Billboard Top 200 chart. The title sounds strikingly similar to the lyrics of a song called Fugitive
on the Golden State
album. The lyrics refrain with "I am a fugitive on the run". So will they generate some new found excitement with this newest release?
Gavin Rossdale is an extraordinarily talented grunge vocalist, whose style is often imitated by other rock singers. He is known for his bold, yet humble intonations, that are accentuated with some slightly throaty vocal distortions. However on this recent release, his vocals are moderately eloquent, but not too extraordinary. The title track, Man on the Run
, starts out slow with drone like strums of the guitar. A quirky guitar hook tries to break up the monotony. Then choppy interludes come in to increase the tempo and heaviness, from time to time. There aren't any catchy melodies or rhythms involved with this song. The vocal performance doesn't showcase much of Rossdale's singing ability either.
Gavin supposedly doubles up as the rhythm guitarist, alongside Chris Traynor on the lead guitar. They play some shimmering high note guitar picking that sounds like early Smashing Pumpkins
, with some decorative riffs like classic Soundgarden
. Then the whining and screeching guitar leads lead down to dark wave musical schemes. They don't play anything very catchy, it sounds mostly generic and a bit cheesy. It actually sounds like the uninspired work of one guitarist. The Gift
starts with a blues rock styled guitar lead, which is reminiscent of ZZ Top
. At first it seems a bit awkward to be placed into a dark wave texture. But then it does add some interesting character to the song.
Usually the bass lines dominate the music and set the pace for the songs. The bold Gothic
bass pumping and chugging overpowers a good share of these compositions. Occasionally there is a slight high note or mid range presence with unusual rhythms to accommodate the lighter textures. Loneliness is a Killer
is driven by heavy yet clumsy bass lines, which become quite repetitive. It is sporadically broken up with some dull metal interludes. It isn't thoroughly boring, but it does stink like outdated cheese.
The compositions seem to be structured with the vocals and bass music at the highest precedence; followed by the guitars and then the drums in importance. The percussion music seems to take the lowest profile within this musical product. The music never gets faster than mid tempo, which allows for a few modest snare drum flare ups. The drum beats lack aesthetic patterns and the cymbal crashes don't sound very alarming. Dangerous
Love is one of the more upbeat tracks on the album. The drums are beaten harder than usual, yet at a moderate pace, with a couple of short flashes of snare rolls. The bass pumps prominently, with some short guitar slashes, that are slightly fuzzy with distortion. The lyrics tell a story of love and pain, with synthesized orchestra music in the background. Its got a catchy dark wave melody, which sounds recycled from popular artists of the eighties.
This album wasn't too exciting and didn't have any scorching hot guitar licks. Their music seems to be losing the sharp cutting edge, like the original style that made them famous. None of their successive albums ever matched their debut release, with its intensity and great songs. Bush
used to be a guitar oriented band, featuring two guitarists, all the way up to the Golden State
album. Then after a ten year lapse, it sounded like they switched one guitarist over to the synthesizer/keyboards. Although the credits don't reflect that notion, I can hear it in the music. Neither one of the previous albums were perfect, with varying shares of filler crap. Most of the songs aren't very good and sound like a corny fabrication of borrowed ideas from the past. Man on the Run
running downhill with several cheesy songs.