Top critical review
8 of 10 people found this helpful
Please No Doubt, I know you're capable of so much more. Please don't let this be your last album.
on October 9, 2012
I hate giving a bad review, especially to No Doubt who I love. I waited a couple weeks and listened to the album about 5 times through before writing this. I want to attribute this album to cobwebs stemming from 11 years of no new releases. Let's call this a "transition album" -- you guys are back making music together again, I believe if you work on another album you can get that old No Doubt sound back again. "Settle Down" is the only song I enjoy on the album (although I wish the music video didn't prominently display L'oreal's brand name, kind of distracting when you know Gwen is a spokesmodel for them...)
"Push and Shove" is OK, and the other songs really just blend together for me.
Like I said, I love No Doubt. But I reject the notion that one must "evolve" to match current radio hits -- whether it be an artist, a band, or a music lover. Here's the pop music that's on the radio: Lady Gaga, Katy Perry, Drake, Lil' Jon, "LMFAO", and computer noise from DJ who-gives-a-shit. Lil' Jon pushes the artistic envelope with powerful lyrics like the masterful chorus from his collaboration with "LMFAO": "one shot, two shot, three shot, four!" Or the even more artistic lyrics from another recent collaboration with "LMFAO", in which the chorus is literally the word "shots" yelled exactly SIXTEEN times in a row, followed by the word "everybody!". Trying to get a band like No Doubt to adapt to that is silly and quite frankly insulting to No Doubt and their fans. Please, don't adapt. Great music is timeless.
I've been a huge No Doubt fan since Tragic Kingdom came out when I was like 11. I love their first 4 albums (title CD "No Doubt", Beacon Street Collection, Tragic Kingdom, and Return of Saturn). Rock Steady was a solid album, and I have both Gwen Stefani solo CDs and even those grew on me over time. This album just feels so bland, like every rough edge was ground off and polished until it blended in with everything else. There are no stand-out guitar riffs, Adrian's drums are in the background at best (whereas in previous albums they really pushed the songs along with a nice loud snare drum and excellent rhythm).
There is a simple question and I believe a simple answer for the next No Doubt album: No Doubt = Gwen, Tony, Adrian, and Tom... Which one of them plays the synth?
Please, listen to some older albums. An example is "Happy Now?" from "Tragic Kingdom". In the first 20 seconds you have Adrian leading the rhythm with a loud snare and excellent riffs between verses/chorus, strong bass from Tony, you have Tom playing an excellent reggae rhythm background with awesome solos and riffs throughout the song, all mixed with great vocals from Gwen. Other examples are "Spiderwebs" from "Tragic Kingdom" and "By The Way" from "The Beacon Street Collection". I want to hear the loud snare from Adrian, I want to hear riffs and solos from Tom, I want a driving bass that holds the song together from Tony, I want to hear some horns in the background, and I want to hear Gwen's signature voice. You guys are so talented, you don't need every song dominated by a synth or a computer.