Most of our generation associates Gwen Stefani with her hit “Hollaback Girl” from 2005 and her obsession with all things Harajuku. In the mid 90s, however, she was the reigning princess of Ska via No Doubt with songs like “Just a Girl” and “Hella Good.”
Since Stefani’s solo career as a musician and fashion icon blew up in the early 2000s, No Doubt was put on the back burner, except for a successful reunion summer tour in 2009 that eventually sparked an interest in creating a new album.
Today marks the release of No Doubt’s long awaited new work titled, “Push and Shove,” more than a decade after the band’s last album release of “Rock Steady” in 2001.
According to an August Rolling Stone article, Stefani and other members of the band said writer’s block had a lot to do with the long wait.
Two singles from the album were released in months prior, including “Settle Down” and “Looking Hot.”
“Settle Down” is very bohemian and reggae influenced–– most likely homage to the group’s original works and a result of the collaboration with Philadelphia-based producer Diplo.
Also, Diplo, founding member of Major Lazer, is known to use a mixture of heavy reggae and dubstep influences in his work. The song “Push and Shove” even features Major Lazer and Busy Signal.
According the article, the band has described “Settle Down” as its “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Stefani still proves her chops for quirky lyrics in “Settle Down,” jumping around on a hippie bus on the music video singing “I’m hella positive for real,” making it even harder for audiences to realize she is 42 years old.
Though she looks not a year older since the release of their last album, audiences can’t help but think how much the band has changed with the result of Stefani’s solo career and the births of nine children among all five members of the band, according to the article.
However, those changes look promising for the record as a whole, making most of the songs sound like No Doubt’s old works, just revamped and modernized.
“Looking Hot,” the second single, has a powerful kick and will probably catch more radio time as a new “girl anthem.”
Sassy lyrics like “I know you wanna stare/You can’t help it and I don’t care/So look at me/Cause that’s what I want” and strong guitar riffs are perfect for getting ready for a girls night.
Just when the song starts to sound too much like Stefani’s solo work, a break in the song allows for stereotypical No Doubt horns and reggae-esque sounds, reminiscent of older songs like the intro to “Spiderwebs.”
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