Was Blake Shelton’s ‘Body Language’ Influenced by Gwen Stefani?
The Voice judge Blake Shelton just released his latest album Body Language. With it, Shelton has a new sound, a new lady on his arm, and a new lease on life. This album takes a deeper dive into his personal life than ever before. It’s safe to say he’s welcomed a new chapter in his life. And yes — some of the songs seem to have been penned about Gwen Stefani.
It’s been four years since Shelton released his last full-length album. Fans have been anxiously anticipating his follow-up ever since. The country crooner’s 2017 album Texoma Shore had a slew of hits including “I’ll Name the Dogs” and “I Lived It.”
Shelton first announced his new album in late March. He revealed fans could expect 12 new songs and a slew of notable features. Track two (the title track) featured The Swon Brothers, and track three, “Happy Anywhere,” featured his Grammy-award winning fiancé Gwen Stefani. While Shelton didn’t disclose much about the album ahead of its May 21 release, his long-time producer Scott Hendricks subtly teased what fans could expect.
“These songs fit him like a glove,” Hendricks told USA Today. “Our goal, every time out, is to be new and fresh. If you like Blake Shelton, you’re going to love this record. If you’re curious about Blake Shelton, this is a good record to satisfy your curiosity.”
Digging into the Hidden Meanings Behind ‘Body Language’
Now that the album is finally here, there’s a lot to dissect. The intro track was one of several previously-released singles. It had all the making of a quintessential country bop with lyrics about pick-up trucks, country roads, and dive bars. At the same time, Shelton also caught flack for the song’s lyrics. The singer found himself in hot water after releasing “Minimum Wage,” which held lyrics that were dubbed “tone deaf” by fans.
Seeing as Shelton is a multi-millionaire, fans found his verse about barely scraping by distasteful. After all, it’s been a long time since Shelton’s made minimum wage. The song was also released during the Covid-19 pandemic when thousands were left unemployed.
In one verse he sings:
“You can make a one bedroom apartment/ Feel like a house up on the hill/ You can make my truck out in the driveway/ Roll like a cleaned up Cadillac/ Girl, lookin’ at you, looking at me that way/ Can make a man feel rich on minimum wage”
Shelton even included a lyric about “playing for pennies” at one point in the song. Despite the backlash, the song went on to rack up more than 10 million streams on Spotify in its first month.
Gwen Stefani Brings True Love to ‘Body Language’
Overall, public reception of the record has been more than positive. There’s no denying romance takes center stage on Body Language, and Stefani’s presence is felt from start to finish. Remarkably upbeat, the album has a few classic ~love~ songs, and the pop songstress herself is even featured on a track. Yep, “Happy Anywhere” included Gwen’s soaring vocals and it’s an instant standout on the record.
At its core, the moving song is about a person, rather than a location, being home.
“Happy Anywhere” isn’t the only song slated to melt your heart. Listeners won’t want to miss track nine, “The Girl Can’t Help It,” which could very well have been written about Stefani.
With the opening verse, Shelton gushes about the woman in his life:
“She don’t need no sunny day/ She gonna light the world up either way/ She don’t need to turn every head/ Naw, she just doin’ what she does best”
Stefani is known for often rocking ruby red lips, and one verse seemed to be aimed directly at her:
“Naw, she can’t help she likes cherry red/ Naw, she can’t help it if she still looks pretty with her hair all a mess/ She don’t know what all the fuss is about/ She don’t mean to be the talk of this town”
While there are a number of fun-loving tracks on Shelton’s album, he wasn’t afraid to take a more serious tone with several of his newest hits. The album’s closing track, “Bible Verses,” discusses the importance of maintaining a moral compass.
It is the only song on the album that deals directly with religion, something Shelton has often included in his past work. Shelton’s voice is noticeably powerful in this one, as he sings:
“That I can open up that good book/ And Heaven don’t look/ Like it’s out of reach/ When it feels like those apostles”
Fans React to the Highly Anticipated New Album Ahead of ‘The Voice’ Finale
Even before the record was released, Shelton’s lead single had fans talking and his dedicated followers had high hopes for what the album would entail. As it turns out, the speculation into the hidden meanings behind Shelton’s newest set of songs may be wasted energy. In a recent interview, Stefani admitted her beau doesn’t have as much of a creative hand in his music as he once did.
“I wish he would write with me, but he doesn’t really write anymore,” Stefani said during an appearance on DJ Khaled’s podcast, before adding that it makes her “so mad.”
Given this info, fans expecting to hear Shelton’s deepest darkest secrets may also be disappinted. But overall, the album is solid with few sinkholes. It proves Shelton has mastered the art of assimilating snappy country tunes to make a record that is easy to listen to through and through. There are truly no skippable tracks on Shelton’s latest release.
At the same time, it’s hard to praise Shelton, who has become a country icon, for a record that is hardly breaking boundaries and failed to incorporate experimental elements. Is his career-defining album? Not so much. But Shelton knows what he does best, and he’s sticking to it.