In the 10 years leading up to her third solo effort, Stefani suffered a long bout of writer's block – until, it seems, her tumultuous, tabloid-fueling split from Gavin Rossdale.
Bountiful inspiration arrived in the form of a new romantic partner, country star Blake Shelton, who was also bouncing back after heartbreak.
For more on Gwen Stefani, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands everywhere Friday.
As crank-up- the-volume catchy as they are personal, the tunes on Truth chronicle getting through pain ("I guess nobody taught you how to love" – ouch – she sings on lead single "Used to Love You") and becoming receptive again to happiness (the lyrics of "Truth"– "Maybe I deserve this boy after all that I've been through" – suggest that she's indeed jake with Blake).
Finally, if apprehensively, she yields to infatuation (as she puts it in "Misery," "You're like drugs to me").
This captivating pop album won't let you down, whether you're looking for an uplift after a breakup, a hooky addition to your playlist – or, perhaps, a peep into Stefani's new relationship.
If the No Doubt alum has remained mostly mum about her breakup and ensuing romance with Shelton, Truth's lyrics – acutely self-aware and brutally honest – are more revealing than any interview.
Here's Stefani's new normal, in her words.
"Enough, enough of this suffering / Hurry up come save me / Put me out of my misery."
''Where Would I be'':
"I was driftin' out, then you pulled me in ... Where would I be, boy, if you didn't love me, boy? ... I can't resist / You got the perfect kiss."
"They're all gonna say I'm rebounding, so rebound all over me / 'Cause I don't want nobody else / I know we said we're gonna live in the moment, and that's all good, that's what we agreed, I know it / And every day I believe in you and me more and more ... Thank you for saving me."
"I'm not a rookie / I'm so used to getting played."
''Asking 4 It'':
"You're givin' me truth, and it's such an unfamiliar subject, so could you answer me please / Are you sure you wanna love me? ... I know that it's a lot to handle me, but it is what it is / It's all part of my broken history."
''Me Without You'':
"No, I don't need you, not a little bit ... And now I'm me without you / And things about to get real good ... You faded so fast, I can hardly see you when I look back."
"You're a sapphire, you're a rolling stone, you're a sparkle in a deep, black hole ... And I can't believe it, that you even exist ... You're rare, and I'm loving every second of it, don't you know / You're rare, and only a stupid girl would let it go / You're so good, and you don't even know it."
This Is What the Truth Feels Like is available for streaming and sale Friday.