Gavin Rossdale and company make the jump to Atlantic for their first studio effort since 1999's The Chemistry Between Us, and it shows them returning to the no-frills rock sound that fueled their 1994

Gavin Rossdale and company make the jump to Atlantic for their first studio effort since 1999's The Chemistry Between Us, and it shows them returning to the no-frills rock sound that fueled their 1994 breakthrough Sixteen Stone. But that's not intended to imply that the band has regressed; actually, Rossdale reveals that he has matured nicely as a tunesmith, offering songs that are lyrically direct and melodic in a way that could prove appealing to pop ears. Although the project is off to a strong start with "The People That We Love," the slam-dunk hits have yet to come—starting with the set-opening "Solutions," which builds from an introverted verse into a white-knuckled, guitar-drenched chorus, and "Float," a dreamy rocker charged with an uplifting chorus about taking chances in life. Rossdale performs with enough passion to render the song an anthem for these troubled times.—LF