Album: No Doubt, Push and Shove (Polydor/Interscope)
Their first album since 2001's Rock Steady finds the re-formed No
Doubt making only the most tentative divergences from previously tried
and tested strategies, which gives Push and Shove a character that could
be described as either dated or timeless.
The tendency for modern chart music to blend into a sort of amorphous dance-pop esperanto results in tracks like "Looking Hot" resembling a Kylie-esque club stomper, while on the pleading power-ballad "Undone", Gwen Stefani sounds strikingly like Madonna. But the title-track offers a fun, ebullient return to their ska-punk roots, and the best track, "Settle Down", has a shuffling funk groove pleasingly bookended by mid-eastern-flavoured string intro and relaxed dub finale.
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