The long-awaited return of everyone’s favourite punk-chick-fronted band has done everything except for reignite our cravings for the ex-party animals.
Arriving 11 years after their last release, Push And Shove takes the group in a new, but all too familiar direction.
Replacing their in-your-face attitude and ‘no rules’ themes is an overcompensation of synth pop and radio-friendly songwriting. Since when does Ms. Stefani ever care about love and ‘settling down’?
It is easy to see a link between Stefani’s solo works and this new No Doubt instalment. This dose of material completely contrasts what we used to know the band for: raw lyrics, unrefined powerchord thrashing and an attitude to match. Sadly, it seems the (once) rocksmiths have traded in their mohawks and chains for teddy bears and chocolate milk.
If you can’t already tell, the music is less than impressive. The lead track, ‘Settle Down’, has some rare glimpses of brilliance, but it is let down by the lack of supporting material.
A cameo from Busy Signal and Major Lazer can’t even really dig this album out of the deep, dark hole in which it finds itself. The title track features the pair struggling to generate much interest, as the tune jumps from Stefani’s sustained vocal phrasing to the faster upbeat discothèque styling of the guest artists.
Many fanatics of the band will be far from impressed, while newcomers to the band’s music will have little foundation to build their obsession on. The modest comeback may appeal to some, but has most likely scared off any would-be fans.