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Album Review: Bush – Man On The Run (Deluxe)

3 min read

When you think of British band Bush, your 90s grunge nostalgia reawakens and you remember their successful debut album, Sixteen Stone; automatically playing in our heads over and over are the singles Glycerine and Little Things. But alas, the 90s are gone, and away with that era was the sound we fell in love with; but if bands didn’t evolve, the music world would be a boringly pointless place. When we thought the band was a goner after their break up in 2002, a new line up was formed and the Bush name we knew and loved was revived; their fifth studio album The Sea of Memories assured us they were back in business. Though Bush’s original line up has changed, we still hear fragments of their origins flowing through the veins of their new modern alternative/pop/rock sound; now the group have released their sixth studio album Man On The Run.

Bush-Man On The RunThe album’s opener Just Like My Other Sins has energy enough to pump us up, lead singer Gavin Rossdale’s vocal is as rough as ever; second single Man On The Run is a smooth and gruff number, the mid-heavy guitars deepen the vibe whereas the lighter melody line lifts it. Lead single The Only Way Out has a more memorable melody and shows no sign of the former grungy Bush, it demonstrates a more polished production; The Gift is borderline 90s Bush and their more modern alternative rock sound. This House Is On Fire doesn’t bring too much that’s different to the table, it feels like it drags on and doesn’t have enough dynamic to warrant being a five minute track; current single Loneliness Is A Killer has a much heavier instrumentation, it provides the intense atmosphere we love to hear from the group. Bodies In Motion isn’t so memorable, unfortunately the same can be said for Broken Paradise.

Surrender has a more different approach, at points it has the heaviness resounding in the background, but the melody goes for a nice ballad feel; Dangerous Love has another catchy melody, the catchiest in a little while. Eye Of The Storm has the lightest feel, a true crossover between Gavin Rossdale’s solo work on Wanderlust and Bush’s modern sound. The deluxe edition of Man On The Run features three extra tracks; Let Yourself Go begins with an addictive bass line, you kind of wonder why it wasn’t included on the standard edition with its catchy melody and laid back/energetic fusion. Speeding Through The Bright Lights has more of a mainstream alternative rock vibe to it, Rossdale’s vocal is a lot less rough in this one and the guitars are a little more friendlier; lastly, The Golden Age doesn’t hesitate to explode into an array of sound, it proves to be a track that fits the structure of most songs from the album with its busy intros, careful verses and turned up choruses.

Man On The Run is a good listen, but at the same time it’s not the most fantastic. It’s been evident since the release of Golden State that Bush simply won’t and can’t be the same as what they were back in the 90s, but we can easily accept that as many bands from the same era have evolved somewhat from their roots; at times when listening to this album, it was like you couldn’t tell if we were listening to the same song, or if we simply didn’t notice the tracks change. Bush have a good sound going, there’s no denying that, but there’s not enough dynamic going on with Man On The Run to make each track a stand out, they kind of mesh together uncomfortably. Highlights of the album were definitely Man On The RunThe Only Way OutLoneliness Is A Killer, Dangerous Love and Let Yourself Go; it’s a shame the entire album couldn’t be a highlight.