No Doubt is without a doubt my favorite band of all time, and I was excited to listen to their latest Push and Shove. It's their sixth studio album release, and their first in more than ten years. Checking out the album sampler, I was worried that I wouldn't absolutely love the album, and even more worried that maybe ND wasn't the same band that I have loved for over 15 years.
After Gwen Stefani's solo releases in 2004 and 2006 , it seemed the band was still taking their time with another album. While I patiently waited, they headed out on a Summer tour in 2009 while working on what would become Push and Shove. The album was originally supposed to be released last year but the band felt the album wasn't ready and went back into the studio to tweak some songs. "Settle Down" was the first single released, and I think it served it's purpose of being a good Summer Buzz single, although I don't think it was the comeback song fans were hoping for.
Photo via: WILSON WEBB. By Rolling Stone
The title track "Push and Shove" was released as a promo single a couple of weeks ago, co-produced by Major Lazer and featuring Jamaican artist Busy Signal, it still didn't get as hype for this new album as it should have. Bassist Tony Kanal said that it was the band's "Bohemian Rhapsody." One of the many things that made that song so great was that it lacked a traditional chorus, where as the problem with "Push and Shove" is it's chorus. The transition from the pumping beat by Diplo to the slowed down, dubstep part just doesn't work.
Push and Shove as a whole however, does work. It is much more cohesive than "Rock Steady", and I have to say a lot less whiny than "Return of Saturn". Whatever Gwen and the gang's inspiration was, it came from a pretty good place but there are still the "I know I'm cool, but I'm a little unsure and I need you to remind me" lyrics from Stefani. She also seems to be obsessed with the word "hustle", which appears in three songs.
While it isn't "Tragic Kingdom:, which we can all agree was No Doubt's best album, the band isn't in the same place they were when "Don't Speak" came about. I wish this would have been released a couple of months ago so that "One More Summer" could have been a proper Summer jam with a video set on the beach. While most albums fall apart in the second half, ND finishes strong with "Sparkle" and "Heaven", which quickly became my two favorite cuts. "Looking Hot" is another stand-out that you'll be hearing on the radio soon.
It might have taken me a couple iTunes plays to really appreciate "Push and Shove", it is definitely an album that grows on you. I do wonder if it would have sounded any different if they hadn't gone back "perfected" the final product. I'm just glad that I can continue my love for the band.
"Push and Shove" gets 4 1/2 Bleakeys out of 5!
Written by: Brittani