Top positive review
2 people found this helpful
Thank you for all your talents
on November 30, 2012
The first concert I ever went to see when at 9 years old was No Doubt. At the time it was when TRAGIC KINGDOM had been out for over a year. Of course they played all the songs, and I remember it being an awesome concert. This is also when I discovered that the band is somewhat insane. Adrian, the band's almost naked drummer, with his mohawk. The entire band wearing makeup, not just Gwen Stefani. And worst of all was the mouth of Gwen Stefani. You'd think that she was raised by sailors. Being 9 years old these kind of things intrigued me, but because I was a "good kid" I never enacted said attitude outwardly.
Like many I was obsessed with TRAGIC KINGDOM for many years, and much of the music I listened to I compared with this CD. It more than likely fell short, even the band themselves I thought at times.
Fastforward to 2000 and their release of RETURN OF SATURN. After a few listens I couldn't get into the CD so I set it aside for some time and continued with my waning obsession of TRAGIC KINGDOM. Although I still loved it I wished that NO DOUBT or any band/artist could release an album equal to it. So began a musical purgatory in my life. Nothing sounded great, like TRAGIC KINGDOM. Then the band released Rock Steady. At the time, I thought it was strange that the band was trying to penetrate the reggae market. Many of the songs on ROCK STEADY were what I needed to spark my interest in music again. I was worried about the direction of the band because of all the reggae influence. I went back and listened to RETURN OF SATURN and saw that the band was just evolving their sound with each record. I then became intranced by certain songs on both records, awing at the talent of that each band member has and refined sound that I think Tragic Kingdom lacked, being such a raw album itself. This elegance made its way onto the band's single/remake of IT'S MY LIFE.
Then began the hiatus of No Doubt, which included Gwen's solo career, which was OK, but not what I had come to expect from the collaboration of the band & their affiliates. Band member, Tony Kanal, did help P!NK with FUNHOUSE. I can totally see a NO DOUBT influence sparking the music and lyrics behind this P!nk album. This is maybe why I love the record so much and one I hold to a similar standard to NO DOUBT's previous compilations.
So here we are ... the recent past and current present. After my own musical renaissance in college, the force of music came flooding back into my life stronger than ever, becoming a love of mine again. I began following the band again. I listened to every album many times over. I learned to love each album on its own. I thought that if this was all NO DOUBT would ever do together than I would have to follow them separately. I settled for thinking I would have to get my NO DOUBT fix vicariously through those artists they chose to light the flame of greatness beneath.
BUT THEN, the band announced that they were working on a new album. I eagerly anticipated its release even through its delayed release (to the agnst of their fans) and my delayed order from Amazon. The best stunt they could have done is release a song telling fans to SETTLE DOWN and that is exactly what they did! Just one more reason to love NO DOUBT. Not only that, but Settle Down is such a silly song that kinda has a weird fit to the puzzle of PUSH AND SHOVE as is the title track. One thing that I have seen in the progress of NO DOUBT is that they have been increasingly slipping into the background of music (I see parallels to Alanis Morissette). TRAGIC KINGDOM being their big breakout success that went further than they could have ever dreamed. They created an album that set the bar. Everything from their looks through to their entertainment factor pushed the envelope. This continued into RETURN OF SATURN, which despite not being as successful as TRAGIC KINGDOM still set the bar for alternative/pop rock. With ROCK STEADY they had crazy fusion between pop, rock, electronica and reggae, but it worked. They were conforming somewhat, but they were still pushing their fanbase into new territory. PUSH AND SHOVE seems like a move into the background. Almost a fading out if you will, which would have made sense like 5 years ago. But Why put out a CD if you don't think you are going to continue making music together?
Despite this factor and what many others say, I love PUSH AND SHOVE and I think it was worth the wait. My only complaint is that I think that Gwen could have sung some of the songs with a little more passion or displayed some kind of variation throughout each work. The record feels like a glimpse into the soul of the band and where they were up to where they are presently, which deserves a little more conviction on Gwen's part. Just like a NO DOUBT album though, each song is unique and fresh. So its not the band's best work, but its still a fantastic collaboration between its talented members.