Sound — 5
On September 13th Bush released their first album since "Golden State" in 2001. This incarnation of Bush sees only two of its founding members, lead singer Gavin Rossdale and Robin Goodridge on drums. Former members Nigel Pilsford and Dave Parsons have been replaced with Chris Traynor (Helmet) and Corey Blitz. This new lineup delivers a quasi-Bush sound. Pilsford was so instrumental in that aggressive octave Bush-sound of the 90s, so it was obvious there would be some glaring differences. The most of which is that this is not a grunge album. "The Sea Of Memories" feels more like a 30 Seconds To Mars record than it does a Bush project. There are some bright spots on the album that make you remember why Bush was great, but after track 4 it is all down hill until track 12, "Be Still My Love", which is just passable.
Lyrics — 5
Gavin Rossdale was one of the top lyricists of the 90s in my opinion. His voice was probably the best of any of the lead singers from grunge/post-grunge bands, but it was his abstract lyrics that really set him apart; "Glycerine", "Little Things", and my personal favorite Bush song, "Body", are great examples of good Gavin Rossdale lyrics. "The Sea Of Memories" has some moments that showcase Gavin's old style, "The Mirror Of The Signs" is the best song on the record, but there are just too many times when Rossdale's lyrics get too literal for their own good. The cringe worthy "I Believe In You" is a perfect example of bad Gavin Rossdale being way to on the nose with what he is trying to say. It becomes hard to not picture him speaking directly to Gwen Stefani with some of these lyrics, and that is not a good thing. However, when he does get back to bringing the abstract lyrics that Bush was famous for, the songs become very good. Their single "The Sound Of Winter" displays this concept well.
Overall Impression — 5
It really pains me to give this record a 5/10 because Bush has always been one of may favorite bands, but here it is, one point for each song that is listenable. If anyone has heard Gavin Rossdale sing on the song "End Of Me" by Apocalyptica, you know he still has the ability to make great songs (in fact I thought it would be a good idea if he just joined that band as their permanent lead singer), but "The Sea Of Memories" does not help that argument. His band Institute was a much closer resemblance to the Bush songs of the 90s that we enjoyed. Time for me to put on some "Sixteen Stone" and remember why I loved this band.