And they’re back! After 11 years since their last studio album Rock Steady, No Doubt have released Push and Shove. I remember reading about this upcoming album way back in the beginning of January and was excited to see that they would be releasing this; they are a Rock/Punk/New Wave/Ska band and don’t seemed to have dropped any of their unique sound. All in their forties and they all still look gorgeous and Gwen Stefani, who just turned 43 is still rocking the body of a 20-year-old.
Push and Shove push and shoves you straight into a carnival feel with their song Settle Down which is highlighted even more by their video. It’s shinier than an episode of Entourage that’s been directed by Michael Bay, in fact isn’t that Optimus Prime Gwen Stefani is dancing on? It is, however a brilliant build-up to re-introduce the band and this album.
Looking Hot, is with no doubt – excuse the pun – the song to look out for here. It’s foot-stomping infectious and makes good use of electronic sounds but definitely not overusing them, still maintaining the guitars and drums to be the essence of their music. There is subtle evidence of an oriental sound throughout the album and has taken residence within the guitars, most probably heavily influenced by Gwen and her solo work (or perhaps her Harajuku girls) but it works and creates an awesome intervention to some of the ‘space-age’ effects that you here on songs like Easy and hints of it on One More Summer.
The album is induced, mildly, with love songs and albeit rather ‘poppy’ sounding they don’t dwell on them and leave enough space between them and the likes of Katy Perry.
It’s difficult to pinpoint certain songs, although Push and Shovestands out, but the entire album is just fun, and albeit it an idiom it’s serious fun. There are no limits to No Doubts’ experimenting and they do it with such level-headed ferocity and master it with ease. And it shows. No matter what you may think of No Doubt or
their genre, they will make you enjoy their music.
But I think it’s safe to say that No Doubt have shed off their punk sound, not entirely, but enough to categorize them (if you must) into much more of a Ska/Reggae outfit. You can still hear the beats and rhythm throughout but in a much more melodic way. It’s the very attitude that No Doubt carry across though. Gwen Stefani carries her unique voice over with angst and a very non-caring rebellion sound. I have yet to find anyone with such a voice like hers, she is unequivocally an anomaly in the music industry.
With perhaps the exception of singles like Don’t Speak and I’m Just a Girl, No Doubt have never achieved major success, which is an enormous shame. I’ll admit that I’m not an avid fan, but I do thoroughly enjoy listening to them over and again. There songs are catchy and imaginative, with so much going on, and I, for one, am extremely pleased that they are back, and hope they start working on a new album very soon. There’s not a whole lot else that I can say about this album except for, “Just go out and buy it”.