There is a lot of new music out there but not enough GREAT music. Sadly, most of the new music made today is not really made for me because I’m not part of the intended demographic. Fortunately, for old dinosaurs like me, some of the elder statesmen of rock n roll are still showing up and delivering powerful and relevant records. For example, last year, The Red Hot Chili Peppers released two massive albums; Unlimited Love LP and The Return of the Dream Canteen LP — I will blog about those two records soon.

Also, in 2022 we got some impressive solo albums from Liam Gallagher (C’Mon You Know LP), Johnny Marr (Fever Dreams LP), and Eddie Vedder (Earthling LP) — Those albums went virtually ignored by the mainstream media. There was a time (mainly in the 90s and early 2000s) when Alternative Rock was central to pop culture. Bands like Pearl Jam, Oasis, Bush, Foo Fighters, Green Day, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Placebo, and others, were at the center stage of music culture. But ironically, their music has become the opposite of the current norm; they have become the counter-culture.

Having said that, it is refreshing to see bands that I followed during my teenage years continue to put out outstanding albums. And that is precisely the case for Bush’s new album The Art of Survival (2022), an excellent record — an unapologetic, ferocious, and in-your-face collection of songs. I can tell that Gavin Rossdale finds himself in an ideal, emotional, and creative place — the music and lyrics in this album reflect a more focused and driven musician.

The Art of Survival is Bush’s 9th studio album, and it has become my personal favorite Bush album since The Science of Things (1999). However, I must confess that Gavin Rossdale’s solo album Wanderlust (2008) is one of my favorite albums of these last twenty-something years, but I don’t consider it a Bush record. Nevertheless, I gave The Art of Survival multiple listens before I wrote this blog piece, and I’m happy to say that the album gets better and better with every listening session. Here is a track-by-track breakdown.

TRACK 1 — HEAVY IS THE OCEAN: This is the perfect song to set the tone for the entire album. The first track of an album should always be a solid first impression of what the album is all about. And this song accomplishes that.

TRACK 2 — SLOW ME: A hard-hitting track with solid riffs and drums—a critique on current affairs, society, and war.

TRACK 3 — MORE THAN MACHINES: A banger – is an anthemic track with energetic vocals from Rossdale; it touches on political and existential themes. Especially when it references regressive issues like the reversal of Rove v Wade, it is a top tune.

TRACK 4 — MAY YOUR LOVE BE PURE: This track is a grower. The drums are excellent here. We have themes of climate change, gross capitalism, and hope.

TRACK 5 — SHARK BITE: Another banger. Again, climate change is an important theme here.

TRACK 6 — HUMAN SAND: Heavy drums and guitar riffs. Brilliant stuff all over — the line,’ You’re my robot boo,’ is delivered beautifully. It also references gun control and the fleeting nature of existence.

TRACK 7 — KISS ME I’M DEAD: Another anthemic and uplifting tune, tailor-made for stadiums. Simply put, it rocks.

TRACK 8 — IDENTITY: Probably the most post-grunge Bush-sounding track.

TRACK 9 — CREATURES OF THE FIRE: Another top tune — The song’s haunting melody and poetic lyrics are profoundly sentimental and thought-provoking. I love it.

TRACK 10 — JUDAS IS A RIOT: A hard-hitting track with pounding drums—a classic Bush-like tune.

TRACK 11 — GUNFIGHT: Powerful track – another anthemic stadium rock. It’s a grower.

TRACK 12 — 1000 YEARS: Glorious way to bring this album to an end. The haunting melody and background vocals create an atmosphere of loss, grief, heartbreak, and regret with a touch of love and hope.

Play it loud.

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