Natalie Kfoury – Co-editor-in-chief
The party is back. Eleven years since 2001’s “Rock Steady,” No Doubt, the alternative rock group helmed under the iconic Gwen Stefani, returns with “Push and Shove.” This is an album that brings us back to where No Doubt soared with fun, catchy and obnoxiously enjoyable songs and rhythms that leave fans with smiles on their faces and newcomers eager to hear more.
The album could not begin on a better note than with the first single, “Settle Down.” The track is dance-worthy and presents the best side of 2012’s No Doubt, not only the ability to create something new, but to be able to mix in the older elements that made the band a hit with 1995’s “Tragic Kingdom.” “Settle Down” pulls the listener in from the start and reminds us that, even with age, No Doubt can still hold their own as music royalty, even with the youthful obsessions of today with the likes of Taylor Swift, Katy Perry and One Direction.
“Push and Shove,” the album’s namesake, is the track that bassist Toby Kanal said is to No Doubt as “Bohemian Rhapsody” was to Queen. The track is a perfect mixture of different elements and styles, making it an enjoyable and unique addition to the album. Once again, the track shows the band’s ability to forge ahead with today’s musical trends while still maintaining their individuality and creative elements of the past.
While the album features many high intensity, energetic songs, the band manages to turn it down at times on tracks such as “One More Summer,” “Gravity,” and “Undone.” Not only do these songs add necessary balance to the album, but they showcase how cohesive the members are as a group. Everything flows together musically, and Stefani’s vocals hit each song and their respective messages home.
“Push and Shove” is a welcoming return for No Doubt back to the music world. Fans will rejoice over the familiar elements and thoroughly enjoy the new ones the band has offered. Likewise, the album will promote new fans to not only enjoy its content, but to go back and give the older albums a listen. From the infectious “Settle Down” to the synth-filled album closer “Dreaming the Same Dream,” “Push and Shove” makes it seem like No Doubt never took that 11-year hiatus and promises that they will never be forgotten.