Single Review: Gwen Stefani’s “Used to Love You” is a return to form

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Is Gwen Stefani finally back? Compared to her 2014 efforts, her new single “Used To Love You,” is a step in the right direction! A year after “Baby Don’t Lie” was released, Stefani returns with the mid tempo cut, “Used To Love You.” If you enjoyed past Stefani singles like “4 In The Morning,” chances are this is the emotionally connected Gwen you’ve been missing in your life.

The newly conceived song follows the birth of the couple’s third son in early 2014 and this past summer’s announcement of Stefani’s divorce with husband of 13 years, Bush singer/guitarist, Gavin Rossdale.

 J.R. Rotem (“Beautiful Girls” “Wahtcha Say”) produced the gloomy, Electronic, piano laden composition, “Used To Love You,” where Stefani vividly tells the story of a couple breaking up. In traditional Gwen Stefani fashion we hear Stefani’s signature vocal textures as she emotes on the breakup tune. Gwen sings, “you go/I’ll stay/you can keep all the memories,” as she describes various faults in a relationship which is likely heavily influenced from her own experience with Rossdale.

Despite Stefani’s prior success, with No Doubt and as a solo artist, it’s a much different musical landscape since Stefani’s last studio album The Sweet Escape, was released in 2006. Last year the Ryan Tedder/Benny Blanco “Baby Don’t Lie” and the Pharrell helmed “Spark The Fire” had a rocky start, and thats putting it nicely. Neither single did much of anything for Stefani’s profile, despite joining NBC’s hit show, The Voice, where she promoted both. Only time will tell if a modern youth fan base and radio will consume new solo Gwen Stefani music as we did in 2004-2007. One thing is for sure, Gwen, we still love you.

The song is available for download and stream on digital music retailers as of today.

Grade:

90/97

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