7 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Eclectic, but a worthy debut.,
This review is from: Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (Audio CD)
I have been `kind of' a fan of No Doubt for some time now, however, it has been more of a respect for them and Gwen as artists, rather than wholly enjoying their music. I always found it a little too eclectic and sometimes more `punkey' than poppy, therefore wasn't quite as accessible as I would have liked. She has always fascinated me, she's like a living Manga character!
This album though, Gwens 1st debut album, is filled with great pop songs, is heavy on an 80's sound, and bridges that gap for me.
As usual, her work is very eclectic, but the songs are more commercial this time. The stunning single `What You Waiting For?' is the highlight for me, along with `Rich Girl' with Eve (which samples `If I were a rich Man' from Fiddler on the Roof), the very Madonna-ish `Harajuku Girls' (which this album has an obsession with), Danger Zone (which wouldn't be out of place in an 80's action movie a la Top Gun), and the beautiful (though simple) pop ballad, `Cool' about how great it is to have a good relationship with an ex, and a very interesting track produced by the Neptunes, `Hollaback Girl' which sounds like a cheer leader song, sung over the High School band!
There are a couple of mediocre tracks on this album, for me `Bubble Pop Electric' and the Soul/R&B of `Luxurious', which is simply a pleasant song. `Long Way To Go', a duet with Andre 3000 is a nice song, a song with a heart, celebrating inter-racial romance, but doesn't go anywhere.
I was excited about the collaboration with New Order on `The Real Thing', but I found it to be no more than a weak pop song. The remixed version which is available on the UK version by Wendy & Lisa, which slows the song down a bit, is far better. Overall, this is a great debut album from Gwen. The only real criticism is that old adage, too many cooks can spoil the broth; perhaps a few less producers next time. (The Neptune's / Jam & Lewis / Dallas Austin / Dr Dre / Nellee Hooper amongst others). Because of all the producers, everyone will have their own favourite tracks and sound, which makes it harder to criticise.
Gwen is the only artist I have EVER thought has the chance top become the next Madonna if she so chooses. (And I mean that as a compliment).