No Doubting they’re back
CHART topping rockers No Doubt have enjoyed a long hiatus but it should come as little surprise to hear Push and Shove is loaded with potential hits.
Last time the band had a record out, the US had just invaded Afghanistan. Wikipedia was launching on the internet. Rising star Skrillex was starting high school. The album even pre- dated the first iPhone by seven years . . . Yup, it’s been a while.
Pop music has moved on a few times while the No Doubt crew ate nothing but caviar and took extended snoozes in their gold- plated hammocks.
The good news for fans is they haven’t tried to reinvent the wheel, the album largely ignores current music trends.
What they have always done best is ’ 80s pop, cute punk and Californian ska, and that’s exactly the plan for this album except for a one- song detour.
Let’s get that one out of the way early, the title track features Major Lazer AKA Diplo.
Thankfully, it leans towards his bouncy reggae rather than Diplo’s almostdubstep stuff.
It’s a nod to music right now but not so far removed from the rest of the record to make it feel out of place. It’s dance hall, it’s hip- hop and somehow it’s No Doubt too, that’s a solid trick.
Singer Gwen Stefani is a master of soppy love songs and rocking party tunes.
The ways she sings One More Summer is vintage No Doubt.
‘‘ One more summer one more weekend, I’m your lover you’re my weakness’’.
This wistful break- up tune has single written all over it.
Sacrilegious words for fanboys I’m sure but Undone could be a sister song of the act’s biggest hit Don’t Speak, a big, powerful, punchy ballad.
Gravity is another solid ballad about her hubby Gavin Rossdale, cheesy fun and high gloss like much of Stefani’s solo work.
Undercover looks at mistrust in a relationship with better songwriting than elsewhere on the record.
Which brings us to the opener Settle Down with its OTT orchestral intro leading listeners down a path that has nothing to do with the rest of the album.
★ ★ ★ ■
Also, the album’s most awkward lyrics: ‘‘ Just when you think it’s over, we be on another level like we doing yoga’’.
Ramping up the volume, Looking Hot is an early highlight with its spunky guitar riffs and a Jamaican horn section that harks back to their ’ 90s hit Spiderwebs.
Got to give the people what they want.