From the Vault...


Gwen Stefani
"Love, Angel, Music, Baby"

© Interscope Records

track listing
  • What You Waiting For
  • Rich Girl
  • Hollaback Girl
  • Cool
  • Bubble Pop Electric
  • Luxurious
  • Harajuku Girls
  • Crash
  • The Real Thing
  • Serious
  • Danger Zone
  • Long Way To Go

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    Gwen Stefani
    "Love, Angel, Music, Baby"

    Gwen Stefani's first solo album gets the nod this week -- Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Her humble beginnings began with the group No Doubt. And as her group became popular, so did her solo career. No Doubt never achieved a #1 hit, yet on her own, "Hollaback Girl" rose to the top. Arguably, I have to say, that I am not into "today's music" (that being music from the 2000 decade on; the end of the 1990s was bad enough...) Trying to keep an open mind, (and after listening to L.A.M.B.) there is nothing really negative about this album, just that today's music for me just does not have the same energy as I enjoyed music growing up when I was younger. Yes, I would know that today's young audience enjoys today's music, and probably consider the music of my generation, as old and boring. But that was then, this is now...

    First off, let's look at the album cover... In all's fairness, Gwen Stefani comes across looking like Madonna, or even Courtney Love. For us older folks, it seems the impression of how she looks is quite provacative. Then again, the clothing fashion of the Japanese ladies on the cover would open up doors for her Harajuku Lovers line in 2005. "Harajuku Girls" is a track from L.A.M.B. Then looking at the back cover, the spread legged pose (as this is also seen on the front cover) sets a misleading impression for the young teenage girls who would look into her music. (Remember back in the Eighties when Madonna burst on the scene, with her provacative fashion style?) Today's female rock stars want to set a "sexy image" for themselves, and in today's era, it is as I mentioned, "provocative" -- but how it looks in some people's minds... SCARY. (Ok, maybe that will be the "negativity" for this review.)

    Now for the music... There are some tracks here that are better than others, but of course, this is in my opinion. This is "today's music," where the current younger generation enjoys the energetic, bouncing, pulsing "Pop" sounds, and yes, today's Hip-Hop and Rap. (Some call it R&B, but Hip-Hop and Rap seems to fit better.)

    "What You Waiting For" leads the album, and quite frankly, it's one of many that I just couldn't get into. Another one is the next track, "Rich Girl." Is this song Reggae? Reggae meets Pop?

    As I collect the past and present #1 tracks, "Hollaback Girl" climbed to the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in May of 2005, for four weeks. When I first heard it, "ugggh" was my reaction. THe vocals were quite annoying, as it was more like hollering than singing. As I continue with the "least favorite tracks from this album" -- "Bubble Pop Electric" has a a very interesting song title. Yet, musically, it just didn't get my attention. "Harajuku Girls" reminds me of the updated sound of Prince, and as I enjoy his music, this song was another one that just didn't get my good rant and ravings on. As for the track "Crash" -- another "uggh", and the same goes for the album's closing song, "Long Way To Go."

    Now for the brighter side of this review -- the remaining tracks yet to mention all have hopes. "Cool" is a very decent sounding track. Easily sounding better than the album's first three chronological numbers. If there were more songs in today's R&B/Soul, it would be "Luxurious." This song also reminds me of the sexyness of the early Prince years.

    "The Real Thing" is ok; it's better than most tracks. Maybe not a really go-getter, but it has a Madonna-ish sound. "Serious" is also a track, as it could fit the late 1990s Pop. "Danger Zone" is another good Pop sounding track.

    So it's not all that bad for Gwen Stefani's Love, Angel, Music, Baby. Sure, there are far many others who enjoy this album far better than me. Gwen Stefani is one of many female talents influencing the younger crowd. Again, this album didn't really get my juices flowing, but there are some tracks here that I did enjoy. Today's music is not for all, especially for us "older folks." But we all have take in stride on how today's music is. And you either like it, love it, or hate it. To me, some of it I like. I can't really a lot on loving today's music. I couldn't say I hate it, just alot of it I could do without.

    Gwen Stefani's first solo album only gets two stars, but I do give her alot of credit. She is inspiring "today's music" fans. And she is doing that quite well, as the younger crowds accept her. She is planning her third solo album, and a possible reunion with No Doubt.

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    Previous Review: #1400
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    Shania Twain--Greatest Hits