I have been a Bush fan since the beginning — I hail from the Sixteen Stone days. Each release, I hope to hear more radio-friendly quality that came out of that CD. By no means, however, do I want to hear the band release catchy songs with the sole intent on selling records. It is evident, after hearing what is on Razorblade Suitcase, The Chemicals Between Us, and now Golden State, that the songs on Sixteen Stone are not represenative of what Bush is now.Golden State is a strong album, however it is very predictable. It has several good songs, a few great songs, and no noticibly bad songs. One of my favorite songs, “Hurricane,” isn’t even mentioned in several of the reviews posted in magazines or on the Internet, which is surprising to me. It is catchy enough to become a single, while totally rocking out in true Bush fashion. The one weakness of this CD is that it draws from the same pool that Razorblade and Chemicals came from. Many songs sound similar, and for this reason, Golden State isn’t an excellent album. It easily takes over the #2 spot in the Bush catalog for me though. Golden State has revived my waning interest in Bush.
The good news: Bush haven’t changed much since 1994, the year of their breakthrough hits ”Everything Zen,” ”Machinehead,” and Glycerin.” The bad news: Bush haven’t changed much since 1994. Still, fans of singer Gavin Rossdale’s breathy, sexy, Bono-ish vocals will dig such songs as ”Solutions,” which finds the Brit foursome mining familiar musical and lyrical territory. While the album is not a revelation, it is a solid outing laced with cool contrasts, provided in part by the input and production of Dave Sardy (Marilyn Manson). From the melancholy ”Headful of Ghosts” and the raw and rollicking ”The People That We Love” to ”Superman”–a lush, loose and expansive song, heavy on the metaphors–Golden State sounds stellar. On the mellower tip, ”Inflatable” is lovely, sexy, somnolent, and atmospheric, as is ”Out of This World,” with hollow-sounding, almost tribal drums, sitar sounds, and industrial tinges. Bush move easily into wilder territory with the raw, powerful guitars of ”Fugitive”; the edgy, frenetic drums and techno touches that mark ”Reasons”; and the unexpected punk fury of the two-and-a-half minute ”My Engine Is with You.” While Bush’s fourth outing may not break new ground, this Golden State is still planted on terra firma. –Katherine Turman
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I was a big fan of “Sixteen Stone” and unlike many others, I simply LOVED the dark, brooding sound of the Steve Albini produced “Razorblade Suitcase”. “The Science of Things” was a solid effort but it seemed to lack the passion of the first two albums. Let me state, with absolutely NO uncertainty, that Bush is definately back. “Golden State” has everything you love about BUSH and then some. There are the radio friendly singles with the catchy choruses, the soulful ballad, and the full-on rocking songs. The band is tight. Tighter than ever before. I have never noticed this before but the drumming is really an integral part of this CD. There is still that industrial sound that Bush seems to have gravitated towards but it simply fuels the English fire that is Bush. After about 200 listens, I can honestly say that there is not a throwaway track to be found on this CD. Even my wife, who abhors hard rock has been heard to be humming “Land of the Living”, “Solutions” and “Reasons” among others. The more you listen, the more subtle you realize this album actually is. I cannot believe Gavin just got married as the lyrics, while not dark, definately do not sound like someone who is at peace with the world. Bush is exploring the same musical territory as they have always been, only this time it goes to new depths. EVERY song is on the CD for a reason. For example, on the first couple of listens, I could have done without the repetitive “Hurricane”. A few weeks later and it is my favorite song. It’s not so much what Gavin is singing, it’s HOW he presents it. “My Engine is With You” is one of the heaviest, pure heavy rock numbers I have heard in years, while “Fugitive” and “Land of the Living” grow on me until I am singing them even after the CD has been taken out of my player. For anyone who thought that BUSH had lost their edge, was washed up and ready to “phone it in”, I ask you to buy this CD, right now, and then listen to it for a couple of weeks. If you do not appreciate it, email me. I honestly believe this is the best BUSH album released in years and one of the best of 2002. Trust me on this one.
I bought the album after hearing the catchy first single “The People That We Love”, it wasn’t a great song, but was good enough for me to check out the rest of the album. I was kinda disappointed by the album for the most part, though, there are some high points on the album. The highlights of the album are “Superman” and “Inflatable”, the first being a really excellent song, the second a great, slow ballad. The biggest surprise of the album was the punk on the song “My Engine is with You”, and Bush does do a good job of pulling it off. The rest of the album is the standard Bush fare ranging from crunchy-guitar driven songs to other acoustic ballads. The rest of the album is decent, not excellent, but above average. Recommended for all those die-hard Bush fans that never want to see them change. For some, though, a little change would not hurt and Bush could use a little revamping in my opinion. Anyway not a bad album, but not even close to the quality of 16 Stone.
You know, I always considered 16stone to be a great album. As a matter of fact, I shoplifted it when I was only eleven and listened to it solidly for six months. Its been a decade and now I usually pay for the cds, so perhaps i’ve moved back into the recording industry’s good graces with adulthood, but who cares? Bush still rocks like no other.A few steps off the beaten path (Deconstructed, The Science of Things) never hurt a solid rock act like Bush, although they did push a few of their devotees away for awhile as they experimented with the electronic movement. Returning to the majesty of 16 and Razorblade, Bush has once again proven that they aren’t cut-rate diluted Nirvana worms, but truly an original, pulse-racing, head-banging hard rock entity that has laid claim to the throne of the new world of Rock and Roll.At times speed metal quick, at others raspily heartfelt, Gavin never fails to confuse and inspire with his spaced out lyrics, making the stellar ‘Head full of Ghosts’ a hauntingly accurate pre-tribute to the 9/11 tragedy, and giving the absolutely fantastic ‘Superman’ a last-chance-to-cheat-death feel to it.As with 16stone, Golden State is fairly devoid of weak tracks, you can put this one on play and let it ride. ‘The People That We Love’ is a fantastic nu-rock anthem, ‘Infatable’ recreates ‘Glycerine,’ but with more heart and ‘My Engine Is With You’ is lent a cheap, lower east side barroom punk feel to keep your head bobbing and your heart racing.This album is a defiant statement by the all too often underestimated Bush, declaring that they are indeed the new royalty of rock. Do Not Pass on this album, Golden State is only the beginning.
Let me start off by stating that I am almost 35, I’m married and i have loved Bush since 16 Stone. I am one of the few who found Razorblade Suitcase to be a delightful little “bitter pill” that I swallowed over and over again. Much better than their debut album. It just OOZED emotional angst thu the speakers. The remix album was good and Science of Things was solid, but lacking.Enter…Golden State. Simple. Complex. Bitter. Reflective. This album is the culmination of EVERYTHING the band has done. Yes, there are radio friendly singles. Yes, there are dismally wallowing songs. And yes, EVERY damn song on the album has it’s charms. (see, Oldskool there, “Album” instead of CD!) I swear, there is not a song on this disc that I dislike. In fact, the couple of songs i dismissed as filler on first listen, later became my favorites. A cold rainy July nite in Northern California (The Golden State), it is 50 degrees and i stand on the rocks overlooking the Pacific, listening to this CD. It just flows thru me, all the anger, all the love and everything in between is captured on this album. The lyrics are deep and the music is solid. It really doesn’t get any better than this.