Not exactly a riot grrl, and not your standard blond-bombshell pop queen, Gwen Stefani has led this new-wave/ska group to the top of the pops. All their top hits are here with a new cover of Talk Talk's It's My Life ; that joins Just a Girl; Don't Speak; Hey Baby; Spiderwebs; Ex-Girlfriend; Bathwater; Hella Good , and seven more. And for those who really have "no doubt" about Gwen and co., the Boom Box offers 2 CDs and 2 DVDs with the singles collection, a rarities CD, a videos DVD and a concert DVD!
Though they've suffered death, departure and fraught internal and external relationships, No Doubt have kept faith with fun throughout, as The Singles very clearly proves. As their troubles have made them far from prolific, it's culled almost entirely from three albums--Return of Saturn, Rock Steady and their mega-hit Tragic Kingdom--with just the quirky, warped ska of "Trapped in a Box" to represent their eponymously titled major label debut.
As said, it's excellent fun, from the opening power anthem "Just a Girl", through the ultra-modern, Madonna-like "Hey Baby" and the urgent, melodious power pop of "Excuse Me Mr" to the Chicago-style break-up ballad "Don't Speak". It's easy to see how this colourful band of Anaheim skanksters came to be seen as an energising antidote to the crushing male miserabilism of grunge. There are a few extras; a reverent cover of Talk Talk's "It's My Life", a dance-metal "Hey Baby" remix and a live repeat of the cute, Leonard Cohen-quoting "Underneath It All", featuring Gwen Stefani's vocal and a simple acoustic guitar. But, naturally, it's the hits that count and they're all here, every bouncing, beaming one of them. It's a fine testament to one of America's most enduring pop acts. --Dominic Wills