No Doubt Looks To “Push and Shove” All The Way To Number One
Think about how much has changed since 2001—the size of cell phones, public opinion regarding bleached tips and boybands, Amanda Bynes' driving record, etc. It’s safe to say that No Doubt released their last album, “Rock Steady,” quite some time ago.
As excruciating as it was for loyal fans, the decade long hiatus allowed Gwen Stefani to pursue solo projects (“Love. Angel. Music. Baby.” and “The Sweet Escape”) and raise a family (sons Kingston and Zuma). Additionally, other members of the band also settled down during the time apart.
Together once again, No Doubt puts forward a solid effort with “Push and Shove.” Although it lacks that certain No Doubt sound that previous albums possessed, the new record certainly strives to garner success on the
“Settle Down,” released in July, was the perfect song to launch as their first single. Though it is clearly not the best song the band has ever written, it appealed to enough newcomers to garner interest, while the single quenched the thirst old fans had for new tracks.
The title track, “Push and Shove,” is not the best lyrical effort, but it is comprised of the an unforgettable beat, fused with the reggae tone the band loves, as well as forceful anthem tones. Just don’t cringe too much at the phrase, “La la la la vida loca/ We speeding it up like soca.”
Furthermore, the album is packed with enjoyable, pop dance tunes such as “Looking Hot,” “Gravity,” and “Undercover.” While it is clear these are more solo-Stefani inspired tracks, all three are perfect for the dance floor, or maybe just a casual car dance session.
Perhaps it is due to the start of school, but “One More Summer” is already the most popular tracks thus far on iTunes, receiving rave reviews. In a very “Rock Steady” melody with reggae undertones, this song is one of the more promising on the record.
“Easy” is another favorable number, acting as a classic No Doubt love ballad that sounds straight off of “Return to Saturn.” Similarly, “Undone” is a song that sounds as if Stefani is still penning about her break-up with ex-boyfriend and bassist Tony Kanal.
By the time you reach “Sparkle,” “Heaven,” and “Dreaming the Same Dream,” it sounds as if you’ve heard these same songs on previous No Doubt albums, just with altered lyrics. Although they are decent songs, the simple, repetitive nature of these tracks is disappointing.
Overall, no tracks stand out as unique, nor original for the band. Though the album will satisfy fans (like myself), expectations were so high due to the eleven year wait. It’s hard to gage "Push and Shove" in comparison to our hopes. The band expects this record to show their evolution from a tiny O.C. garage band to the musical influence that is No Doubt, even if they are still kids at heart. Regardless of the commercial success, there is no doubt “Push and Shove” communicates years of hard work that went into the making of this album.
Reach Staff Reporter Jillian Morabito here.