After an 11 year hiatus, ska band No Doubt, the band who brought us massive hits of the 90s including ‘Don’t Speak’ and ‘Sunday Morning’ are back to prove they still have it, with their 6th studio album Push and Shove.
Like many other people in the world, it’s hard not to admire Gwen Stefani, the sassy front-woman of the band. It’s even easier to admire her when she’s back in No Doubt rather than prancing around Hollaback Girl style singing ‘this shit is bananas.’ It is apparent on the album however that some influences from Stefani’s solo adventures with have made a bit of a stamp on the album (see ‘Settle Down’ particularly with the style of the opening and the verses within the song as well as ‘One More Summer’ which could be a sister song to ‘Cool’) - however this is not necessarily a bad thing.
While leaning towards a slightly poppier vibe than usual, the album showcases some great diversity, with the kick-ass lyrics and musical arrangement from No Doubt that we’re used to, mixed in with a few more melancholy and mellow tracks.
Standout tracks include ‘Looking Hot’ – showcasing No Doubt at their finest, with a catchy, upbeat chorus, with a side of attitude from Gwen Stefani. ‘Easy’ showcases Stefani’s voice at its prime, easily one of her better vocal efforts over the years. ‘Sparkle’ delivers a reggae type vibe, throwing a bit of diversity into the album.
The album isn’t full of perfect tunes however. ‘Gravity’ seems like a bit of a lacklustre effort, and let’s face it, if you originally misinterpret the lyrics ‘Just like Venus in the morning sun…’ to ‘We just had fetus in the morning sun,’ like I did, it’s hard to get past that. Title track ‘Push and Shove’ will probably divide fans a bit – stamped with a very obvious No Doubt vibe, the song starts off well enough, however the chorus just seems mismatched with the verses and with a random dubstep influence thrown in for good measure, the song is a bit too chaotic.
Overall when the push does come to the shove, the album is a fantastic comeback for the band – and one that proves No Doubt is still a band to keep on your radar, as well as the fact that 40 something year old people rocking out doesn't have to be embarrassing. Fingers crossed for an Australian tour sometime in the near future!
Review Score: 8.3 out of 10