CD Review: No Doubt’s ‘Push and Shove’
Wed, Sep 26, 2012 (6:03 p.m.)
- No Doubt
- Push and Shove
To say No Doubt’s Push and Shove had a long gestation is an understatement. The band’s first album since 2001’s Rock Steady has been in the works since at least 2006, and the pop giants spent much of the past several years hunkered down in the studio with producers such as digital guru Mark “Spike” Stent.
Unfortunately, Push reflects this laborious process. For starters, it’s in dire need of an editor—all but one of the songs run longer than four minutes—and the peppy vibe of No Doubt’s best work is mostly absent. It’s a shame, because the retro-minded record sounds fantastic as it explores stormy synth-pop (the Depeche Mode-ish “One More Summer”), seductive R&B (“Easy”), quirky new wave (“Looking Hot”) and anthemic synth-rock (“Dreaming the Same Dream”).
Still, only a few songs endure: the reggae-driven title track—an upbeat circus featuring Busy Signal and Major Lazer that’s full of horns, dubstep breaks and imaginative arrangements—and the country-tinged “Undone,” a song which can be interpreted as Gwen Stefani realizing she’d rather be with her bandmates than have a solo career. Beyond that, Push is so manicured, it loses the fun, frothy approach to music that always made No Doubt so appealing.