No Doubt returns after an 11 year hiatus

Alexandra Martinez  Journal Contributor

After 11 years, the Southern California based band No Doubt is back with their first studio album after hiatus, Push and Shove. The album isn’t a new version of the band, or a revamp of what they had been back in the early 90s. No, Push and Shove leaves off where 2001’s Rock Steady ended, and continues that reggae dance-hall rock sound the band grew into since their Ska Punk days of the early 90s.

The band is no longer the edgy 20-somethings from 1995’s Tragic Kingdom, but a more adult version that still has the sound we have grown accustomed to. No Doubt has adapted to the changing times. The title track “Push and Shove,” which has been playing on airwaves as well as Target commercials to draw interest to the album, is just a small taste of what is to follow. It’s fast upbeat reminder of what Rock Steady was and a welcome back for the band, especially with the strong trumpet section that brings back memories of songs such as “Bathwater,” in a post Gwen Stefani bubble-gum-pop world.

Unlike the title track off of Rock Steady it is more of a party anthem. The 10 tracks that surround the title track, which is actually the fourth track on the album, contain a totally different sound from much of the other songs on the album. It is kind of a sampler of who No Doubt was, and who they are now after the 11-year-hiatus, which spawned a successful solo career for female vocalist Gwen Stefani. It is clearly evident within the first track of the album, “Settle Down,” that it will be chalked with girl-power infused lyrics. Listeners will be reminded of “Hollaback Girl,” but the album isn’t fully Stefani-centered. Tracks like “One More Summer” and “Undone” are a reminder of a former crooning broken hearted Stefani from Return of Saturn and reminders of Tragic Kingdom, while tracks like “Sparkle” and “Gravity” embody that Rock Steady sound.

The entire album is true to the band in who they were and who they have become now growing into their 40s. The band still proves that they can rock and that they are really back this time with a great sound. Although those Ska Punk fans from the earlier albums may be disappointed with this album due to the lack of very little elements that remind listeners of that classic sound, at the end of the day, new No Doubt fans and some old will love this album, which is the last sound of lingering summer and makes for a good party album you won’t want to stop playing.