No Doubt. Such memories. The band are an essential part of my musical biography, from the dulcit tones of Don’t Speak to the undoubted career highlight that was Return of Saturn. Gwen was an emblem of a strong woman, she looked fantastic and the whole group introduced me to the idea of ska (in the early days at least).
So when I heard they were releasing new tracks, I was excited. Sure Gwen’s solo material was fun, but damn! New No Doubt? Cha-ching!
Gwen teased us with behind-the-scenes shots on Twitter (some got deleted, some survived). ‘Making the video’ clips flooded No Doubt’s YouTube channel. The works.
Today I finally got around to listening to it. I was impressed by MTV’s ever-so-clever review of the video – including no less than five references to previous records, band history and the like. In fact, they’re so good I’ll bullet them in case you miss out when you watch Settle Down at the end of this post…
The beginning of “Settle Down” looks a lot like their 1999 video for “New.” The concept for both videos is simple: Each member of the band is driving a custom vehicle to a party.
Tony Kanal eats an orange at the top of the video. But eagle-eyed No Doubt fans know that the orange is not only a tribute to the band’s Orange County hometown in Anaheim, California, it’s also the same piece of fruit that Ms. Stefani holds on the cover of their breakthrough Tragic Kingdom album.
Gwen wears her bra straps out and proud in this latest video. She teams the look with a tank top and punk-rock-inspired pants that recall the Gwen of the ’90s.
Gwen brings along her Harajuku girls, and including the ladies in the new clip helps bridge the time Gwen spent without the boys and her reunion with them this year.
The band once again enlisted longtime director Sophie Muller. Muller first worked with the band on their memorable 1996 video for “Don’t Speak,” which addressed the rumored disdain the guys felt for Stefani and her rising fame.
But despite all of this, I’m not a fan of the track. It’s not what I was looking for. Maybe it’s a grower, but I’m disappointed. Let’s hope the new album brings more joy.
Furtado released her new single yesterday, the ‘cryptically’ named Big Hoops (Bigger The Better).
Thoughts? Well, I definitely don’t hate it.
It feels like she’s channelling M.I.A./Santogold, which isn’t a bad direction for her to go in (especially given the popularity of both artists). But there’s an odd whine to her voice on this track that grates a little, no matter how much I appreciate the slightly dirtier beat.
(It’s also crying out for someone to add a male rap vocal on top, give it a week…)
Simian Mobile Disco is about to drop a new album, called Unpatterns, on May 14th.
The track ‘Seraphim’ has already been leaked, and there’s already been a video for ‘Cerulean’, but here’s a third teaser for ‘Put Your Hands Together’.
Responding to comments on the YouTube upload of the video for the song, the band says that:
Since people are asking – It’s a series of scenes of people going over their obsessive-compulsive type behaviours… as to how that refers to our music, on our new album we’ve been inspired by ideas of repeated loops and patterns breaking down and decaying over time. And the process of making electronic music lends itself to obsessive-compulsive tendencies..”