Eleven years after their last album, Orange County’s No Doubt has pleased its unwavering fans by finally releasing a CD of original songs. “Push and Shove” is a record years in the making. According to Gwen Stefani’s interview with Carson Daly for 97.1 FM, it’s the hardest record the band has ever recorded due to their busy schedules and other priorities, such as motherhood.
But is this the No Doubt we know and love? The answer is yes. The truth is, this album will bring chills to anyone who enjoys No Doubt’s legacy.
The album is reminiscent of No Doubt’s ’80s/’90s ska/pop sound, but there is an underlying change to their sound heard throughout many of the tracks save the ballads. Several songs include synthesized beats and dubstep, catering to Top 40 radio and prompting club remixes.
The lead single “Settle Down” has an EDM undertone that helped propel No Doubt back into the regular radio circuit. It has been met with critical praise and lots of airplay. The song is a refreshing change from the current Top 40 radio playlist, whose artists and music is beginning to sound interchangeable.
“One More Summer” is an upbeat ballad reminiscent of the band’s hit single “Running,” with its lyrics about a long-lasting relationship with bumps in the road and potential obstacles and break-ups ahead. During the chorus, Stefani’s vocals are not as prominent in comparison to “Running,” as she competes with Adrian Young’s pounding drums. Despite not having Gwen’s voice being the center of attention, this song is sure to make their set lists and be a memorable anthem.
The record’s title track “Push and Shove” takes the reggae beat seen formerly in “Underneath It All” to a whole new level and features the horns straight out of “Spiderwebs.” Stefani shows her versatility with a playful rap portion with “Busy Signal.” This track is a fun summer song with references to “Soca” in typical No Doubt fashion.
Among the many ballads, “Gravity” is a standout. The out of this world lyrical imagery combines with Katy Perry-like space beats and Stefani’s heartfelt lyrics to create a soothing and emotional love song.
“Looking Hot” will be the next single released when the band returns from Europe. The song is tongue-in-cheek, all about the band’s front-woman and a great girl anthem that will bring a boost of confidence after a break-up.
If you’re someone who enjoys dance remixes, I suggest buying the deluxe version of the album. This version includes remixes of “Looking Hot” and “Settle Down,” as well as acoustic versions of “Settle Down” and “One More Summer.”
The biggest downfall of this album is the length of the songs. The majority of the tracks are four minutes and some even come close to five or six. Most radio listeners I know can barely tune in to one station for more than three minutes.
Coming off their appearance at the iHeartRadio Music Festival, No Doubt will play six shows in Los Angeles, California at the Gibson Amphitheatre in November and December. If you missed out on buying tickets, listen for ticket giveaways from KIIS FM, MyFM, and AMP Radio from now until November. You don’t want to miss this.
Final Rating: 4.5/5
Filed Under: Entertainment