Absence makes the heart grow fonder, right? It’s certainly the case for No Doubt, their latest offering Push and Shove, released 21st September 2012, after an eleven year break.
The album cover features an interesting, warped portrait of the band, and if that’s not enough to grab your attention, the first track ’Settle Down’ has already risen to success when it was released as a single earlier this year.
The dancefloor-ready anthem ‘Looking Hot’ is going to be an instant hit, fusing pop, punk and electro effortlessly. The ska influences that they’re so famous for are still there though, particularly in the title track, featuring Major Lazer and Busy Signal. It’s perfectly blended with electro and reggae, and comes right back to the No Doubt we all know and love.
It’s easy to spot Stefani’s solo influences throughout, a strong pop sound storming in on the majority of songs which sometimes overpowers the small instrumental details, particularly on ’Heaven’ and ‘One More Summer’ .
The main difference between this No Doubt and the sprightly things of eleven years ago is the lyrics. The ones they’re using now are much more mature, and complex, as oppose to the fun, happy-go-lucky, “it’s my life, don’t you forget”, back in the day. The instrumentals have changed too – trumpet and bass have been swapped for a much more synth-heavy sound on almost every track. This might not be popular with older fans; nevertheless, it gives the band a different sound and opens the songs up to a wider audience than before.
Push and Shove is a radio-friendly album, and many tracks sound like Stefani with a support band rather than No Doubt itself.
That aside, there’s definitely something here for fans old and new, just get ready to press repeat when you get to Push and Shove. You’ll be listening to it for days.