It’s weird to think that is has been 11 years since No Doubt, the band not only responsible for songs such as “Hey Baby,” “Don’t Speak,” and “Just a Girl,” but also for releasing the forever blonde and red-lipped Gwen Stefani onto the world’s scope, released its last album.
Stefani has been busy during the 11-year hiatus, having two children, writing and putting out two solo albums with help from producer on the albums, friend and bassist for No Doubt, Tony Kanal. Stefani has also started her fashion and fragrance lines, LAMB and Harajuku Lovers.
But after 11 years, Stefani and the boys are back, a little more solemn than before.
The top four songs of No Doubt’s album, Push and Shove, is No Doubt where they left us 11 years ago, danceable as ever with great aspects of ska and reggae thrown into the mix and lyrics that have Stefani’s recognizable southern California slang thrown in.
Just listen to Stefani’s lyrics in the opening song and first single off the album, “Settle Down,” the song is something I could see the band starting a concert with. With Stefani’s line “I’m hella positive for real,” the listener remembers the time when “Hella Good” was on the radio.
“Push and Shove,” the fourth song and title track is unquestionably No Doubt, it picks up right where their last album, Rock Steady, and its hit single “Hey Baby,” left off. The song is danceable and catchy, and also holds remnants of Stefani’s solo career.
Songs like “Push and Shove,” “Looking Hot,” and “Settle Down” are the songs to dance and try to sing along to when you’re alone (or not!) in your room. They’re a great addition to my “getting ready” playlist, songs to get you up and out of bed.
The 2nd half of the album is much less danceable, but is still No Doubt, songs like “Easy” and “Heaven” holds homage to 80’s music that No Doubt grew up listening to.
“Undercover,” another one of the slower songs on the album, reminds the listener of sleeper hits in the No Doubt fanbase such as “Magic’s in the Makeup” off of The Return of Saturn.
The songs are slower, and less danceable, but some songs leave tastes of No Doubt’s second album Return from Saturn, which had more solemn songs and topics on it, much like Push and Shove.
With this album being No Doubt’s first release in 11 years, it was bound to show how much older No Doubt is compared to the younger artists who dominate the charts today. The album was very true to No Doubt’s style, and the band has expressed their pride over their latest album multiple times over the band’s Twitter.
While the album may not be an instant classic, it is a solid album that solidifies what No Doubt’s fans have been hoping for, No Doubt is back.