No Doubt - Push and Shove review
Posted by Guest Writer on Fri, 28 Sep 2012.
It is likely that hardcore No Doubt fans from the 90s will struggle to see the underground ska influences they loved from the first time round. Push and Shove has a much more dance feel, possibly the inheritance of Gwen Stefani's solo work.
However, the title track, Push and Shove, has a lively ska off-beat and a more heavy sound that should satisfy old-school fans. Look out for the references to their previous album, Rock Steady, and the fantastic break-down in the chorus which would make Muse jealous.
The single, Settle Down, has a cool Eastern vibe and a catchy chorus. With over 7 million views on the band's VEVO channel on Youtube (at time of writing), the overwhelming response has been positive. A random selection of video comments tell it all: 'Still as awesome as ever', 'LOVE THE STYLE OF THIS BAND', 'IT'S SO GREAT THAT THEY'RE BACK', 'i like this song these guys still got it! Gwen looks better than ever!' In fact, Stefani's image is a hot topic; with her quirky style, ivory complexion (she has not aged a day!), Marilyn-platinum locks and vampy red lips, she is THE face of No Doubt. But so much more than just a pretty face, Stefani is a smart, ballsy entrepreneur with her own fashion and perfume lines and a successful solo career worth millions; throughout Push and Shove she continues to belt out her characteristically girl-power lyrics – 'I'm a rough and tough / And nothing's gonna knock this girl down'. No wonder both men and women love her.
As interviews with No Doubt have revealed, Push and Shove draws heavily for its inspiration on their struggle as parents to juggle family-life and their career. This topic dominates interviews with Stefani: '…it's my biggest stress – how do I do this and that? How do I do both? So that's like the constant battle that I have every day. I do worry about that all the time.' (Elle magazine, Oct. 2012). It isn't difficult to read this anxiety in her lyrics: 'I'm trying to get a hold on this'.
Towards the end of the CD, the sound becomes more chilled out and reflective. Perhaps this mellowing sound is No Doubt's natural progression, and while it will surely bring in a new generation of fans, it certainly needn't alienate old ones. If early responses to this CD are anything to go by, we are just thrilled to have No Doubt back.
Review by Vikki Geary