Wednesday, April 20, 2011

316 Rock Steady. How long is it since we had a good ironic title?

Album: Rock Steady
Artist: No Doubt
Genre: Pop
Year: 2001


1. 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"

No Doubt’s earlier album appeared in the countdown at number 441. At the time I wrote a review saying how impressed I was with their ability to straddle the twin worlds of rock and pop. Gwen Stefani’s vocals reached out to girls who like pop and the band were playing for guys who like rock. I’m generalizing of course but there’s no doubt their “foot in both camps” approach kept No Doubt at the top of the charts. Rock hard but sing soft- it’s a clever approach.

The title of Rock Steady suggests a band who are not only rocking but preserving the status quo and keeping rock steady with their set pattern, which involved guitars. Sadly this isn’t the case.

While recording No Doubt the band decided to expand their musical palate by including other elements into the mix. When they decided this the band must have had a meeting...

"What can we do to really annoy that 500 horizons guy? He quite liked our last album, what would make him turn 180 degrees on us?"

"We could get electronic?"

"Good idea. Tone down the guitars and crank out the synthesiser. Nothing annoys him more than processed beats and computer-game noises."

"What about Reggae?"

"Oooh nice one. We could reggae it up a bit, include some jamacain beats."

"And rap!"

"Yeah. Some rapping interludes. He hates rap."

It’s like they set out to get on my nerves and it works. I appreciate anyone who wants to change thing up and not get stuck in a rut but rap, reggae and electonica are just too much. The one consistent is the vocal style of Gwen Stefani which remains unchanged but was never my favourite part of the original release.

If you enjoyed No Doubt’s earlier albums and you’re also a big fan of Madonna you’re probably going to like this. If you liked their other stuff but prefer Led Zeppelin then this is going to get on your nerves in no uncertain terms.

Lowlight: In My head
Highlight: Intro

Influenced by: Reggae and Rap
Influenced: I honestly have no idea.

Favourite Amazon Customer Review Quote: "Decent angling is something every customer has a right to expect. As James M. McPherson writes in Crossroads of Freedom, "The detritus of battle lay thickly on the field: smashed weapons and gun carriages, dead horses, scraps of bloody clothing, discarded knapsacks and blanket rolls, and the smell of rotting corpses, vomit, and excrement." This was his most revolutionary statement. If you close your eyes and make an allegation, someday it might come true...that is, of course, when they wear a little tie clip we're meant to take as a kind of emotional chastity belt. Otherwise, it's only the third attempt to disturb our sleep.
Which is why I consider this album a masterpiece of thanatopsis. No stars are good enough for it."

-Baffling. I have no words.

 So should No Doubt have released Rock Steady or stayed Rock Steady or on their previous path? Let me know below.

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