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
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
"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.