Stefani’s new album not as satisfying as past work
Gwen Stefani has lost her mind. Or that’s what some people might think after hearing her new album, “The Sweet Escape.”
It’s understandable someone might feel this way, considering the first thing listeners hear is yodeling. Only Stefani could make yodeling sexy.
Perhaps Stefani has evolved as a way of staying on top in the current mainstream market. Maybe her evolution dissolved the musical sound she worked so hard to establish.
Artists often break away from a band to develop and refine themselves. However, it seems Stefani has actually lost more of her voice in the literal and stylistic sense.
Stefani’s rapping in “Sweet Escape” abandons the unique vocal style she perfected over the past 20 years. Her whiny, yet enchanting, voice lends itself to the sounds of Deborah Harry, the lead singer of Blondie, and was one of the driving forces behind No Doubt.
Her sound has been replaced with lyrics like “feeling yummy head to toe,” from the song “Yummy.”
The stylistic voice of “The Sweet Escape” is a dense texture of drums and bass which almost completely drowns out all other musical elements. After so much, the sound becomes sonic wallpaper in the background of the listeners’ lives.
There are good qualities to the new album. The title track, “The Sweet Escape,” has the ability to make listeners shake their money makers. But what makes this new CD fun also paints Stefani as an artist who has lost her performance style.
Stefani has done a lot of evolving and refining over the years with No Doubt and her first solo release.
Once No Doubt released its first self-titled album, the band began forming a unique blend of ska and new-wave music.
No Doubt’s third release, “Tragic Kingdom,” allowed the band to focus on the influence of third-wave ska. “Tragic Kingdom” brought the band into the mainstream.
The final album, “Rock Steady,” had its own changes, like the addition of a key-tar, but the musical roots of the band were still present.
On her first solo album, “L.A.M.B.,” Stefani collaborated with several different artists. She joined Andre 3000 from Outkast and created an album largely different from past work.
Longtime Stefani fan Emily Ainsworth, a sophomore humanities major said, “I liked her in No doubt. I liked her clothing line. I even tolerated ‘L.A.M.B.’ I think she has sold out, and her new album proves it.”
Ainsworth showed her feelings of betrayal by joining one of the many Facebook groups dedicated to scorning Stefani.
It’s still up for debate if Stefani gave in to mainstream pressure. The only thing to do is wait and see what show tune she copies on her next album and decide from there.
Contact Campus Press Staff Writer Emilie Johnson at email@example.com