Monday, November 29, 2004

Gwen Stefani: Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

You know, I love No Doubt. I've also gotten into it with more than one person in just the last couple months on whether or not Gwen is anything without the kickass band, or if she can even sing (they say nay, I say whateverNoDoubtrocks). And after listening to her debut solo album, I'm not entirely convinced that she really can sing. And yet, I did make this discovery:

I totally don't care.

"Love Angel Music Baby" is weird, infectious, addictive fun. I first listened to the album in a traffic jam trying to get the hell out of LA for Thanksgiving, so I was a little headachy and cranky. Not in the mood for Gwen. And yet 4 days later when it came time to drive home I found I'd totally been hankering for it.

The album is all over the freaking map, from bubblegum dance pop, to Euro-pop that you'd swear was totally New Order (and then you discover that, well, it is), to over-produced-yet-satisfying R&B tunes, to show tunes. Track two starts the journey into a state of mind best characterized by, "What the...? Niiiiiice!" with the Fiddler on the Roof-inspired "Rich Girl." Then suddenly you're transported to your high school gym for a basketball game and the catchy "Hollaback Girl." After the game, you stay in the 80's as your parents drive you home in the station wagon with the pop FM station blaring, "Cool," which you sing along with while playing with your spiral-permed curls.

From there it just keeps jumping all over the place. You know how you get that one song stuck in your head, but instead of singing the whole song, you'll just randomly bust out one line over and over again until your whole office thinks you have Tourette's and they're just thankful you're not swearing? For me, all day, it's been, "Take it to the back seat. Run it like a track meet." By the way, Gwen plus Andre 3000? Inspired. I want to sprinkle "Bubble Pop Electric" all over my cereal and eat it for breakfast.

My favorite thing about this album is that so much of it sounds like the album I would have made if any of the pop songs I wished I could write in junior high had ever come true. For that, I say good on you, Gwen. I'm glad one of us realized that dream, and it was the talented one, at that. You did your thang, and I for one totally dig it.

Pufftastic! Pufferific! Pufflicious!
Pretty darn puffy


Highwaygirl said...

But but but ... Gwen has kind of gone a little kee-razy with the whole "You see these Japanese girls following me around everywhere like preschoolers? I thought only *I* could see them!" thing.

Is she going slightly insane, or is this just a marketing ploy?

Dinah said...

It's totally a marketing thing. If she's really going crazy with anything, it's the weight loss. Girlfriend is starting to look downright skeletal, and no diva that fine and fabulous should be doing that to herself, least of all Gwen.