On September 21, Interscope Records released No Doubt’s sixth studio album, Push and Shove. Despite it being more than a decade after the band released its pre-hiatus farewell album, Rock Steady, I hesitate to call this album “long-awaited.” During the band’s hiatus, lead singer Gwen Stefani kept her fans entertained for a few extra years with solo albums, which included several big hits such as “Hollaback Girl” and “Cool.” No Doubt announced its reunion in 2008 as they slowly began to work on their sixth album. Aside from a tour in 2009, the band remained fairly silent until the release of the album lead single, “Settle Down” in early summer this year.
I will admit that I was never a huge fan of No Doubt, but I can’t imagine that I was only one who got bored of waiting and eventually forgot that No Doubt was even “coming back.” If my sister hadn’t shown me “Settle Down” when it was released, I wouldn’t have known that there would be an album to listen to. Luckily for No Doubt, I was convinced enough by the track to keep an eye out for the album’s long-time-coming release.
So it’s been just shy of 11 years since 2001′s RockSteady, what’s changed? Not much, actually. Aside from the inclusion of a semi-dubstep in the chorus of the title track, the album seems to pick up right where the last one left off. No Doubt largely ignored the current music trends and just kept up with what they love: ska punk, dance-rock, and reggae fusion.”Sparkle,” for example, is a dance-rock hit with a brass section that only No Doubt can really pull together.
It’s hard to listen to the album without recalling and comparing the tracks to previous hits. “Settle Down” reminds me of “Hey Baby,” while “Undone” conjures up memories of just about any other ballad that Stefani, or rather, No Doubt, has recorded. The album has a good assortment of subjects tackled by the lyrics. Naturally, love and relationships makes it into a few of the tracks (“Gravity” is a love song written by Stefani to her husband Gavin Rossdale), but some other refreshing topics enter the mix. “Settle Down” is about having confidence in unfamiliar circumstances, and I must say that I prefer a topic like that to most other possibilities.
This album is nothing to get too excited over, but it’s not bad for a comeback. I’m willing to keep this band on my radar for a couple more years, but you can count me out if it will take another decade.