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Gwen Stefani drops her third solo album, “This Is What The Truth Feels Like,” on Friday and the Fullerton-born singer-songwriter is as raw as ever.

Fresh off of her very public divorce from Bush vocalist-guitarist Gavin Rossdale and the paparazzi frenzy that has followed her blossoming new relationship with her “The Voice” co-star and country artist Blake Shelton, there are two things that come through very clear after listening to the new record.

First off, she seems to carry a great deal of embarrassment and shame over the crumbling of her 13-year marriage, which can be heard on tracks such as the heart-wrenching lead single “Used To Love You.” On “Truth,” Stefani flat out sings “I really don’t want to embarrass myself.” However, she doesn’t shy away from mentioning her new romantic situation with “They’re all going to say I’m rebounding, so rebound all over me because I don’t want nobody else.”

And that’s the second thing, Stefani, who is now 46 years old, sounds a little like a giggly school girl in love as she gushes about how the new relationship has “saved” her on cuts like “Make Me Like You,” which sounds like something Taylor Swift would have written. With “Send Me a Picture,” she sings about couples having to spend time apart and sending each other photos. The closing track “Rare,” seems to be completely directed at Shelton as Stefani swoons “I’m loving every second of it, don’t cha know.”

There are points on the album where she’s clearly going through various stages of emotion, which is exactly why fans fell in love with Stefani in the first place. They rallied around her when she took a stand as “Just a Girl” and really got behind her as she put her former relationship with No Doubt bassist Tony Kanal on blast with “Don’t Speak,” from the band’s breakthrough record, 1995’s “Tragic Kingdom.”

On the new record, “Misery” has some funky bass and is catchy, but finds the vocalist lyrically conflicted. “Where Would I Be” has a real reggae vibe, reminiscent of No Doubt’s “Rock Steady” album. “Red Flags” is where things start to get weird and Stefani shows her claws, but also attempts to rap, which doesn’t go well. Though she gives it all she’s got as she aggressively sings about missing all the warning signs and letting things slide in her previous relationship, the overall sentiment seems lost in the hip-hop and dance beat, especially during the quick seconds she can be heard sobbing somewhere in the background.

“Asking 4 It” has a strange Britney Spears-like and unnecessary auto-tune vocal and “Naughty” should just be skipped all together. It all winds down with the more mellow “Me Without You,” a true survivor song and a bit of a pep talk, as she sings, “Now I can stop pretending, I can finally be myself” and she reminds herself over and over again, “I can love whoever I want, say whatever I want, do whatever I want.”

In honor of Stefani’s new collection of songs, we took a look back at eight other tracks on which the singer really shared her heart, for better or worse, with her fans.

1.) “Used To Love You”

2.) “Don’t Speak”

3.) “Simple Kind of Life”

4.) “Ex-Girlfriend”

5.) “4 in the Morning”

6.) “Early Winter”

7.) “Bathwater”

8.) “Undone”

Contact the writer: 714-796-3570 or kfadroski@ocregister.com

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