After a decade-long hiatus Gwen Stefani is back with her brand new #1 album, This Is What the Truth Feels Like.
Although her newest track, Misery, is another step away from her beloved No Doubt days, it does sounds more like classic Gwen than her last solo album, The Sweet Escape. I’m all about evolving as an artist but for a while Gwen seem to stagger with her solo work and perhaps with the bittersweet inspiration for This Is What the Truth Feels Like, channeling that heartbreak is one of the reasons that made us fall in love with Gwen back in the day with No Doubt. The lyrics were relatable and were paired with the SoCal vibe that helped move a ska movement. While the jury is still out on Gwen’s newest solo venture, we’ve gathered our five favorite No Doubt songs… Mostly because we miss the good ol’ days and cause we’re suckers for nostalgia.
5. From the album Return to Saturn, the track Bathwater is a slowed down molasses type of track compared to the high energy songs from No Doubt. “I love to wash in your old bathwater” may be kinda gross but the metaphor works because of how it was written (by Tom Dumont, Tony Kanal, and Gwen Stefani). It’s about insecurity but is cleverly disguised as a love song.
4. I have many good memories with Spiderwebs, it’s the massive hit single and reggae-infused opener from Tragic Kingdom. The track is dense but catchy as hell thanks to the west coast pop-punk vibes that No Doubt perfected. The song itself is about an invasion of personal space by a frequent caller, and definite stage 5 clinger, that doesn’t seem to take a hint. The track is hypnotic and energetic and makes for a perfect road trip song and even more perfect song for avid Tinder users.
3. Hey Baby came out my freshman year of high school and it immediately was on top of my playlists. It’s a feel good party song that is about Gwen’s vantage point in a mostly male world of rock n roll and showcases backstage behaviors from the guys. The ska punk influence is gone but reggae singer Bounty Killer makes his appearance midway through the track with another Jamaican infusion.
2. The main factor in the appeal of Just a Girl is the riot grrrl-era female empowerment Gwen and the band expresses without being self-righteousness. It’s a carefully crafted track that fights against female stereotypes and sexism while using hyper-femininity and transforms it into a more fierce deliver thanks to her voice over the build up of the beat. It’s one of those anthemic songs that every girl knows by heart and speaks volumes because we’re still, somehow, dealing with this shit.
1. Don’t Speak is not only one of No Doubt’s best but it’s all around one of the best rock ballads of the Nineties. Everyone at some point or another has related to the poignant heartache from this song while experiencing heartbreak of their own (myself included). The iconic song was inspired from the end of a seven-year relationship with No Doubt’s Gwen Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal. The song paints the split so vividly that it’s a wonder how the two managed to still be friends much less in a band. The song was written before the band’s rise to fame with Tragic Kingdom, so by the time the single and video came out, it encompassed a new meaning: The video was an intimate look at band tension as Stefani becomes the focal point during shows and photoshoots as the group’s lead singer.
Honorable mentions: Ex-Girlfriend, Running, Simple Kind of Life, Hella Good, Its My Life, Excuse Me Mr., Underneath it All, and New.