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Rock Steady Enhanced

3.6 out of 5 stars 639 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Enhanced, December 11, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

2001 album from the California Alt-Rockers fronted by Gwen Stefani. The album features production and/or appearances from Prince, Bounty Killer, Lady Saw, Nellee Hooper, The Neptunes, Sly & Robbie, William Orbit, Ric Ocasek and others.


As much as No Doubt have protested that they are a singular unit and not "Gwen and her guys," Gwen Stefani's much-touted duets with rapper Eve and techno mogul Moby did nothing to juice the boys' spotlight, which had been steadily dimming since the release of 2000's Return of Saturn. But all that banter is silenced with Rock Steady, on which the music is definitely the star, unfettered by Gwen's cutesy-clouded feminism or dumped-by-the-boyfriend woes. Having mostly departed from their ska home base, No Doubt's well-navigated exploration of hip-hop beats, reggae, and the reunion of '80s keyboards and guitars finds the group picking up the pop-rock baton that Garbage dropped with an unsettling thud. Rock Steady's delegate of stalwart producers perfectly decorate the disc with their respective expertise; Ric Ocasek (new wave), Prince (R&B), Nellee Hooper (trip-hop), Sly & Robbie (dub), and William Orbit (trance) offer some staying power to music that's always been on the edge of disposable. Despite their disparate styles, the songs complement each other like stars and stripes. This is No Doubt's best album to date, and as they continue to expand their influences, the party only gets bigger. --Beth Massa

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Rock Steady (Intro)
  2. Hella Good
  3. Hey Baby
  4. Making Out
  5. Underneath It All
  6. Detective
  7. Don't Let Me Down
  8. Start the Fire
  9. Running
  10. In My Head
  11. Platinum Blonde Life
  12. Waiting Room
  13. Rock Steady

Product Details

  • Audio CD (December 11, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Enhanced
  • Label: Interscope
  • ASIN: B00005QDW1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (639 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,503 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Amazon's No Doubt Store

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
No Doubt is my all-time favorite band, and has been for awhile now. My favorite CD is Tragic Kingdom. I picked up Rock Steady today, a little bit iffy on how it was going to sound. I liked Hey Baby, but not as much as their older stuff. I was blown away by the CD. I loved it. It was like 80sdiscorockpoptechnotrancereggaeskadancehall. Heh. Anyways, it was a big risk for No Doubt to add all of this new flavor into their sound but I think it turned out great.
I know all of the die-hard old school No Doubt fans are probably (...) off. To be honest, I was a little at first. I mean, their old stuff...her words are so powerful and the sound was something I don't think anyone else had. But listen...before Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt had been a band for 9 years doing ska-type music. And how many years ago did Tragic Kingdom come out? 1995...so um...6..almost 7 years or so. Gwen was fifteen when she
started, she's now 32. Your music tastes change. The band has evolved and each album you can hear the change. This is another evolution of No Doubt. You can say "Oh, it's pop music...blah blah...". But I don't think the average pop album has what Rock Steady has. This is the exact same thing people said when the new Garbage album came out. Beautifulgarbage, as it is titled, is a wonderful CD. Sure, they aren't as hard or loud as in the past but it is still a great CD. I think No Doubt has gone though the same thing. If you compare the lyrics between Tragic Kingdom and Rock Steady, the lyrics have no less depth, you wouldn't be able to tell them apart without hearing the song. When people say that No Doubt has sold out, I look at it as taking a big risk. Hello? They had already sold over 10 million copies of Tragic Kingdom alone...they are already a "hit" band.
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Format: Audio CD
No Doubt took five years to follow up Tragic Kingdom with Return Of Saturn, but they quickly turn around a year and half later with Rock Steady. Unlike their previous two albums, which were heavily weighted with emotional based songs like "Don't Speak" and "Simple Kind Of Life", Rock Steady is a good time party record. The band moves back to their earlier days with a heavier ska/reggae sound throughout the album, eschewing most rock sounds. There are liberal doses of 80's arcade game sound effects (pinging and popping effects) sprinkled through songs. Gwen Stefani is playing up the homegirl image she put forth on the big hit "Let Me Blow Ya Mind" she had with Eve. Songs like "Hella Good", "Making Out", "Rock Steady" and the first single "Hey Baby" all find her working the sex kitten angle. "Running" is the lone ballad on the album and it is a gorgeous song and one of their strongest. Former Cars leader Ric Ocesak produces two songs on the album including the superb "Platinum Blonde Life" while the band traveled to Paisley Park Studios and recorded with the Purple One himself, Prince, on the sultry "Waiting Room". Several other producers including Sly & Robbie, Nelle Cooper and William Orbit (most famous for Madonna's Ray Of Light album) produce tracks, but the album has a uniform sound despite this hodgepodge production approach. No Doubt has become famous for their turmoils, but they finally seem to have exorcised their personal demons and are letting loose and having fun. Rock Steady isn't as good as Tragic Kingdom, but it's got a great party vibe.
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Format: Audio CD
Exposed navels, bleached blondes, three guys and a cheeky charismatic lead singer are usually the images that come to mind when describing the Southern California quartet No Doubt. Now with that, add a seasoning of Caribbean style rhythms and catchy hooks to get the band's latest offering, Rock Steady. The foursome's fifth studio longplayer is a collection of delectable island-splashed pop with dance club appeal.
Always the explorationists, the group takes a new creative step in their sound and music. Released only a year after their 2000 smash Return To Saturn, the boys and girl of No Doubt fall into no particular formulaic pattern. Rather than boring their listeners by treading the same musical ground of past hit albums, the band expands and further defines its own unique brand of So Cal ska.
Innovating instead of reduplicating, Rock Steady takes chances and experiments with new soundscapes. The album takes its cue from dancehall-reggae, hip hop and new wave, never juxtaposing but intermixing - exploring their influences in the genres like never before.
Songs indicative of this newfound exploration include the lead single, "Hey Baby," the dance numbers "Hella Good" and "Start The Fire" and the retro-pop of "Underneath It All," which harks back to the second wave ska of The Specials.
Working with a mix of producers ranging from hip-hop virtuosos the Neptunes (Mystikal, Kelis), Nelle Hooper (U2, Björk), reggae duo Sly & Robbie and former Cars frontman Ric Ocasek, who provides the songs "Making Out" and "In My Head," the album is musically eclectic while managing to stay conceptually cohesive.
Vocally, it's still Gwen's show, but the album offers one noteworthy guest appearance.
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