It’s not easy being a mom over 40. Not only are you balancing demands from kids, time with your spouse, work, and a personal life, but you have to contend with aging. At 40-something, a woman no longer possesses a fresh-faced youth that turns heads. Sure, all women of every age are beautiful, but those who are approaching menopause are the ones who most relate to the struggle to stay sexy, from what I’ve seen.
Given all these things, pop-rock star Gwen Stefani’s latest album, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like,” is a breath of fresh air for moms who aren’t 20-somethings anymore. Listening to it makes those of us in the over-35 category feel good about ourselves. If 46-year-old Stefani can emerge from a nasty divorce with an amazing work of art and a hot, young boyfriend, dammit, so can we!
Let’s set aside the age thing and the mom thing, for a moment.
“This is What the Truth Feels Like” is brimming with some damn good music. The first track, “Misery,” kicks things off with lustful musings set to a playful, peppy beat. It’s almost — though not quite — as catchy as the fun, ska-kissed “Where Would I Be?”, which transports the listener to “Hollaback Girl” days.
Several tracks in, we arrive at the first single, “Used to Love You,” a confessional piece that most of us have probably downloaded already. Hearing it again in the context of a 12-track record infused with boy-crush-inspired pieces gives it so much more power.
When we emerge from the sadness, the hip-hop ballad “Red Flag” and “Asking 4 It” (with Fetty Wap) get us singing and snapping again, energized and ready to go.
I’m not a fan of everything Stefani sings. There are definitely moments where I’m like, “why are these lyrics so trite? Doesn’t she have a team of writers?”
Still, taken as a whole, “This Is What the Truth Feels Like” does what pop music does best: It inspires and moves me. I’d be surprised if others — especially moms of my Gen X/Gen Y era — don’t emerge with the same feelings after just one listen.