Ahead of the release of This Is What the Truth Feels Like, a new single from Gwen Stefani's third solo album has now emerged, and yes, it does fall right in line with her recent history of "life is an open book"-style lyric-slinging.
The common question people have about it is: Is it about her ex-husband Gavin Rossdale or her current flame Blake Shelton? (For those keeping count, the beaus were previously believed to be 1:1 on the song tribute ratio for TIWTTFL.)
Judging by the title alone, "Misery" might come off like a sour break-up anthem -- and since Stefani has previously described her album as running the gamut of her recent series of emotions in pseudo-consecutive order, one might think that the first track, especially so named, would be dedicated to the sads.
Now that we can actually listen to it, though, it seems pretty obvious who it's about.
The song doesn't sound like some sappy send-off to her ex-husband Gavin Rossdale the way like her first spot-split anthem, "Used to Love You," did.
Instead, the lyrics ("Put me out of my misery/ Hurry up, come see me" and "I’m thinking things I’ve never thought before/ Like what your love would taste like") appear to peg her budding romance with her The Voice co-coach-turned-boyfriend Blake Shelton as the subject for the second time, following "Make Me Like You."
But that could just be some clever misdirection on her part.
When she first shared the skinny on the track list, Gwen assured us that the first half of Truth would be "dark and humorous."
Back in November, she laid it out to Carson Daly at 97.1 as follows: "If you hear the record, the entire record — the first half was like that. All the songs were quite humorous but dark .. they were like sarcastic. There was a humor to them. Then it went to a place of realness. That’s where ‘Used to Love You’ happened. Then it went to joyful."
So, what does that mean for "Misery"?
Well, it could mean that her "You're like drugs to me" line is a snappy hindsight recall of how she felt when she first ended her marriage -- the full scoop on which would apparently "shock" us all because it's "a really good, juicy story." Plus, the "Where'd You Go?" and "You're in so much trouble" bits could easily reflect some separation anxiety and anger following their split.
But considering the newness factor hinted in her "so into you totally" and "I'm thinking things I never thought before/ Like what your love would taste like" lines ... it's still pretty wide open to interpretation.
(For what it's worth "Make Me Like You" falls fourth on that list, so by her description it'd be one of the sassier entries, too. And unlike this new one, "MMLY" was pretty straightforward with the "in like" adoration message, especially since her video for it included Blake's name in neon lights.)
We're miserably stumped.
This is What the Truth Feels Like drops in full on March 18.