For over two years the public knew Gwen, Tony, Tom and Adrian would release a brand new studio album. After some delay, a definite single and album release date were announced by the foursome. Cue the hype, many awaited what the veteran band cooked up in the studio. The masses were served with the lead single, “Settle Down.” The wavy and live instrument laced track gave the listeners a taste of what was to come.
‘Push and Shove,’ in a nutshell, is signature No Doubt; the album is the 2012 version of ‘Rock Steady.’ There are refreshing elements implemented into the sound of the album that avoids No Doubt from sounding dated whilst keeping the band true to its Rock/Reggae sound . A perfect example of this strategy is working with Major Lazer on the album’s title track. What better way to bring No Doubt up to the times than to pair them with today’s more popular Reggae producing duo.
Aside from Major Lazer and Anthony Gorry, No Doubt remained loyal and put the album’s production duties in the crafty mind and hands of Mark “Spike” Stent. The album is not the run-of-the-mill sound that plagues today’s Top 40 stations because of that reason alone; just about evey track is single worthy. With that being said, we have yet to see how the album charts but as far as the singles go, the album has yet to produce a true radio smash. Already on its third single, will ‘Push and Shove’ have a defining single, this era, for the group?
The synth soaked “Undercover” pushes a fun yet beach sexy melody and keeps us wondering how Gwen Stefani still makes a listener melt away. This album is about melody, with a capital M. There are songs on here that make you want to jump up and down till the soles of your feet are blistering, wine your hips to the magnetic rhythm and slow dance all by your lonesome.
Yes, slow dance… on tracks like “Undone,” “Sparkle” and “Dreaming the Same Dream” Stefani pushes the adrenaline into the negative and makes the listener feel something deep down inside. It brings back the that old feeling, the one which developed when “Underneath It All” would play that sweet sweet melody.
The formulaic mash-up of electronic and live instruments in almost all the album tracks is beautiful. Some synths or blips start the song off then progress into the drums and guitar, with the electronic instruments making appearances throughout the rest of the track. It is definitely a sound that is reminiscent of what was and still is, yet makes it seem sonically new.
The gist of this entire review, the main idea, is how time stood still over the past eleven years. Gwen Stefani & Co. are every bit as spunky, entertaining and talented as they were back then. ‘Push and Shove’ is No Doubt of 2012; ‘Push and Shove’ came and delivered. Whilst it is not THE comeback album to push No Doubt in front of all its peers, old and new, it is an album that reminds all the listeners why this foursome made the impact they did in the music industry. Our only gripe with this album is the timing: the release date. This is an album for the Summer, one that should have been released back in April or May, June the latest. Our question is, will you still have this album on play come Summer 2013?