New Music: No Doubt Returns

The band who created hits like “Don’t Speak”, “Just A Girl”, “Hey Baby”, and “It’s My Life” is back with a new tune called “Settle Down”.

Sadly, if “Settle Down” is an example of what listeners can expect from their new record Push and Shove (25 September 2012), then perhaps the band should quietly step back from the spotlight. No Doubt’s new single is upbeat and feel good, but the song seems almost amateurishly overproduced. While No Doubt has never been clean or polished in their style, they have always maintained a novel unique sound that has separated them from their colleagues.

“Settle Down”, in comparison, sounds like a karaoke session at a local chill spot rather than a fresh new single off a highly awaited album. The beat is annoying at best, and Gwen Stefani’s voice does nothing to soften the blow. The singer usually embodies a rock essence, and the influence is clear in “Settle Down”. The problem lies in the whiny voice Stefani lets rip on the chorus. The rhythm of her singing against the instrumentals also adds to the frustration, as it sounds like a children’s rhyme gone horribly wrong.

While you may find glimpses of Stefani’s natural tone on the track, they are unfortunately rare and simply cannot drown out the crashing thump of noisy production.

Let’s chalk this one up to the “acquired taste” category and hope that “Settle Down” is a one-time error on Push and Shove.

Suite listening.


4 thoughts on “New Music: No Doubt Returns

  1. Oh gosh! I must admit in the first few bars it had a bit of a cheesy sound, then I got into it and by the end I really like it. I like the beat on the chorus and deeper into the song as the beat settles into itself, I found myself really liking it. I think you must remember No Doubt is pop has always been pop and its got that real 90s pop sound on top of that. Listening to this song, I actually can respect it, coz it is what No Doubt is about…I mean listen to ‘its my life’ and ‘dont speak’, they’ve all got that cheesy pop element to it but that’s what No doubt is. I like this song, its happy, cheerfull and has a beat that you’ve got to understand and ‘take for what it is’. C’mon don’t try and make No Doubt something that they’re not, they’ve always done pop and sounded poppy, they’re a band that sorta characterised 90s pop music but P.O.P..theyre not rock legends or musical icons.

  2. That’s my point. They are pop artists, but they still managed to separate themselves from the crowd while evolving their sound. Every No Doubt album sounded different from the last, but this song is just a mess to me. It’s almost like they’ve regressed, and I can’t “take it for what it is” because to me that’s a lazy approach to making music. No Doubt has never had especially thought-provoking lyrics or a particular depth to their music, which is fine because they’re a fun band – they don’t take things too seriously. I just think that “Settle Down” is a bad track, so I have to be honest in the way I review it. I mean I could say that the last Coldplay album really sucked, but that doesn’t mean I’m trying to make them into “something they’re not”. It’s just an honest expression of what I think. I’m not saying that No Doubt needs to stop being poppy, cheesy or feel good – I never critiqued them for that in my review. I’m simply saying the production is stupid and Stefani’s voice gets a little whiny. Just my two cents 🙂

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