Sound: This was the last No Doubt album I bought, and I'm really kicking myself now! It takes all the small good bits from the other albums and puts them together into a well-rounded album with some funk, ska, punk, pop and slight heavy metal influences. Tony Kanal (bass) is really on top of his game here and slaps and runs up and down the neck like a mad-man. Tom Dumont adds a bit of metal into the sound, especially on Move On, and Eric Stefani uses keybards to great effect unlike most bands with a keyboardist. There's also trumpets in most of the songs which adds a nice ska sound. Unfortunatley it was released when mainstream music was obsessed with grunge and so it got basically ignored by the press. The only problem I have with this album is with Gwen Stefani's voice on some songs, it's really high pitched and annoying. But don't let it put you off. // 8
Lyrics: As I said before Gwen's vocals are slightly more annoying than usual, but her dulcet tones mix nicely with the pop undertones of the music. I thought the lyrics on this album were better than average and also pretty original, but that doesn't mean much coming from me. For example there's a song about going to the dentist, a porn star and TVs. Not in the same song. // 9
Overall Impression: 01. BND - a nice short start to the album, very funky and energetic!
02. Let's Get Back - my personal favourite from this album, it's slap heavy and funky guitar, with some tempo changes to help it flow. And a great trumpet part. Lyrics not that great though.
03. Ache - a song about Eric Stefani having a toothache. I love the intro to this song and probably Gwen's best performance.
04. Get On The Ball - I'm not really fond of this song, but it's not awful. The keyboard part can get kind of annoying. It's the sort of song that doesn't really go anywhere if you know what I mean.
05. Move On - probably the heaviest song on the album. It has a really great bridge/middle bit where it breaks down with a pretty metal solo bit.
06. Sad For Me - a short song. It's just keys and singing. It has a pretty melody and grows on you after a while.
07. Doormat - some amazing bass playing here and great trumpets again.
08. Big City Train - here's where the annoying vocals come in. It's a listenable song, but I usually skip it.
09. Trapped In A Box - No Doubt's first single. They made an independant video for it but it gotno airplay at all. The singing is really annoying but the music redeems it. Especially the jazz feel of the chorus.
10. Sometimes - the slow acoustic song. The intro sounds Stairway To Heaven-ish, not a bad thing.
11. Sinking - the only filler on the album. Boring.
12. Little Something Refreshing - it's Gwen and Eric Stefani listing food. Really catchy little song.
13. Paulina - some guy (Eric I think) singing a song about beating it off to Paulina. It has a chilling reggae feel to it.
14. Brand New Day - a good end to the album as it's relaxing compared to the starting song, creating a feeling of the end of the day. 2nd favourite song.
This is definatley the best No Doubt album, followed closely by Tragic Kingdom. If I lost all my CD's this would be one the first I buy again. I love the bass playing on this album, it really inspired me. Too bad Gwen Stefani took over the band or maybe they could have improved on this. // 9