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Gwen Stefani - Love Angel Music Baby


Review: Evelyn O’Connell

“SUPER hot female” Gwen Stefani makes her debut as a solo artist with the explosive release of her album Love, Angel, Music, Baby.

The album is rhythmic, rebellious, fierce, funky, confessional and emotional. As Gwen states: "I was looking to make a specific record that would be everyone’s guilty pleasure. There was no room for anything but singles on the album."

I thoroughly agree with Gwen, as every track has the ability to be a single in its own right; nothing is short of superb and each track, with its different style, provides a perfect showcase for her amazing voice.

The album kicks off with the out-of-the-box smash single, What You Waiting For, and closes with Long Way To Go, a duet with OutKast's Andre 3000 about inter-racial love.

Gwen has hooked up with an all-star cast who represent everything from New Wave to hip-hop. Included on the album are; Dr Dre, Tony Kanal (No Doubt), Andre 3000 (OutKast) and New Order.

What You Waiting For is the benchmark for the album, immediately enjoyable with its fast lyrics and catchy melody.

Gwen takes a look at the pull of trying a solo career and telling herself to 'take a chance'. Most of the tracks are not quite as fast paced as this, whether it’s guitar or hip-hop.

Rich Girl reminds us that money isn’t evryything and holds the lyrics that give the album its title.

Cool, produced by Dallas Austin, is one of my favourite tracks and takes the tempo right down; with Gwen’s lilting voice giving the song real meaning that pulls you in close.

Luxurious slows us down again with a strong R'n’B influence, but again it displays Gwen’s marvellously diverse vocals, while the use of Japanese instruments on the opening of Harajuka Girls brings another side to the album, combining her usual smart lyrics with different influences.

Crash is simply pleasing and The Real Thing changes the album's direction slightly again with soft lyrics declaring love.

There are two bonus tracks on the CD, the second of which is an instrumental jazz version of What You Waiting For, which is one of the few disappointments.

Although it serves as a great compliment to her recent release, I would have liked to have heard Gwen sing the lyrics as well, as I’m sure her vocals could have carried it off.

That said, the blending of skills and influences on Love, Angel, Music, Baby makes for a sonically adventurous album.

“This record is a collaboration of a lot of great talents coming together and trying to make something that’s classic," explains Gwen. "Something that you want to listen to over and over.

"I want the album to be the record of ‘now’ and to give people some kind of satisfaction and release."

I have long admired Stefani’s vocal talents and this album displays her full potential.

The production collaborations may not be to everyone’s taste, and I may not have originally thought of buying this CD, but listening to it has changed my mind.

There is some very good work here; it is certainly uplifting, empathetic and imaginative, and I have No Doubt Stefani’s solo project will do her extremely proud.

Click here to find out more about Gwen Stefani

 

Track listing:
1. What You Waiting For?
2. Rich Girl
3. Hollaback Girl
4. Cool
5. Bubble Pop Electric
6. Luxurious
7. Harajuku Girls
8. Crash
9. The Real Thing
10. Serious
11. Danger Zone
12. Long Way To Go
13. The Real Thing (Slow Jam Mix - Bonus Track)
14. What You Waiting For? (Elevator Mix - Bonus Track)

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