Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

Studio Album by released in 2004
Love. Angel. Music. Baby.'s tracklist:
What You Waiting For?
Rich Girl (feat. Eve)
Hollaback Girl
Cool
Bubble Pop Electric (feat. Johnny Vulture)
Luxurious
Harajuku Girls
Crash
The Real Thing
Serious
Danger Zone
Long Way to Go (feat. Andre 3000)
The Real Thing (Wendy and Lisa Slow Jam mix)

Love. Angel. Music. Baby. review

Contents of Gwen Stefani's character are 45% fashion sense, 30% acquisition of wealth, 12% posturing, 10% getting off, 2% conscience, 1% memory of selling out. Gwen was born and raised in the glittering sunshine of Southern California. Young and energetic she moved into the music spotlight in 1987 as the sexy lead singer for the band No Doubt. A quick listen to Love. Angel. Music. Baby, her 2004 solo debut, reveals that this is not an album she could have made with the group – it's too club-centric, too fashion-obsessed, too willfully weird to be a No Doubt album. Working with many collaborators – including Dr. Dre, the Neptunes, Linda Perry, Dallas Austin, Andre 3000, Nellee Hooper, Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, and her No Doubt bandmate (and ex-boyfriend) Tony Kanal – Stefani has created a garish, neon-colored, deliberately stylish solo album.

It covers far too much ground to be coherent, but a large part of its charm is to hear it careen from the thumping, minimal beats of the Neptunes-helmed Hollaback Girl to the sleek, new wave textures of the high-school anthem-in-waiting Cool and back to the exhilarating freakazoid sex song Bubble Pop Electric, featuring Andre 3000's alter ego Johnny Vulture. Stefani's dogged desire to cobble together her own patchwork style while adhering to both her new wave chick and urban goddess personas can be both fascinatingly odd (her weirdly homoerotic tribute to Harajuku Girls) and irresistible. There are tons of hits like What You Waiting For? and, sure, there are a couple of misses, but this is undoubtedly the best excuse for a solo outing since Justin Timberlake's Justified. The best moments on the album keep closest to her new wave roots (which include heavy electro synth beats and blips). It's a glitzy, wild ride that's stranger and often more entertaining than nearly any other mainstream pop album of 2004.

In the wake of Gwen Stefani's elevation to diva status in the early 2000s, it's easy to forget that for a brief moment at the start of the millennium it seemed that she and her band, No Doubt, were dangerously close to being pegged as yet another of the one-album alt-rock wonders of the '90s. But then Gwen sang on Eve's Let Me Blow Ya Mind in 2001. The Dr. Dre-produced song was a brilliant single and it was an enormous hit, peaking at number two on the Billboard charts and winning a Grammy, while redefining Gwen's image in the process. No longer the cute ska-punk kid ofTragic Kingdom, she was a sexy, glamorous club queen, and No Doubt's next album, 2001's Rock Steady, not only reflected this extreme makeover, it benefited from it. A side effect of this was that Gwen now had a higher profile than her band, making a solo album somewhat inevitable. Since she always dominated No Doubt – she was their face, voice, lyricist, and sex symbol, after all – it's reasonable to ask whether vanity was the only reason she wanted to break out on her own, since it seemed to the outside observer that she helped set the musical course for the band.

A glittering salute to her passions for 80s fashion and style, this side project from Gwen reinforces her international-pop-star status...Kooky and playful, the dozen cuts on this 48-minute post-disco bash sharpen the classic beats and bleeps of '80s pop of Madonna, Blondie and Toni Basil with the cutting-edge cool of contemporary hip-pop and funk. Simply put: It's a blast.

(21.04.2005)
Rate review4.52
Total votes - 442


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