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I am a huge No Doubt fan--so don't expect this review to be completely unbiased-- and while I love ska and ND's earlier stuff, Return of Saturn is, hands-down, my fave No Doubt CD. Gwen's writing is amazing, and she pours her feelings into every song.
Ex-Girlfriend - 5/5. A great opening song with cool music.
Simple Kind of Life - 5/5. Wow, this song is so gorgeous. A fabulously-written song.
Bathwater - 5/5. One of my favorites, with an awesome beat and creative lyrics.
Six Feet Under - 4/5. I really like this song, but the lyrics are a bit odd.
Magic's in the Makeup - 5/5. Love the lyrics to this song, so truthful.
Artificial Sweetener - 5/5. Another one of my favorite. I love the lyrics and the music, and Gwen's voice sounds great.
Marry Me - 2/5. In my opinion, the weakest song on the album. I don't know why, I just don't like it too much.
New - 5/5. This is my favorite song on the album. I love the music, and the way it alternates between and slow/fast beat.
Too Late - 3/5. A pretty song, but not one of my faves.
Comforting Lie - 5/5. Awesome lyrics, great beat.
Supension Without Suspense - 4/5. Slow song, but nice lyrics.
Staring Problem - 4/5. Not the best song on the album, but it's still pretty good.
Home Now - 4/5. An overall good song.
Dark Blue - 5/5. This song is so depressing and beautiful that it makes me want to cry, but I still love it.
Overall, this is an amazing CD, a must-have for any No Doubt fan. If you like ska, though, check out their self-titled debut and Tragic Kingdom. Or, rock/pop tickles your fancy, listen to Rock Steady or Gwen's solo stuff, which is nice but lacking the great lyrics and music she made with No Doubt.
No Doubt's new cd shows that the band is more than just "Tragic Kingdom". Gwen Stefani has chosen to let her listeners mature along with her as she writes about more adult themes. I hold more respect for an artist when they don't cater to what's popular at the moment. Musically, No Doubt sounds slightly different, and that is meant in a good way. With new producer Glen Ballard, No Doubt have crafted a musically diverse soundscape--at least as diverse as "Tragic Kingdom." Perhaps No Doubt's "Return of Saturn" will not sell as many copies as "Tragic Kingdom." That's fine. What is important here is that this band is carving out their own musical niche in a field where most bands run out of musical ideas. If the band can hold themselves together personally, and not crumble like The Smashing Pumpkins have, I predict they will be around for many years to come. Then again, a Gwen Stefani solo career wouldn't hurt. The only reason for a four star rating, and this is my own quibble, is that like "Tragic Kingdom", "Return of Saturn" has too many songs. 14 tracks is, to me, a bit excessive, and after repeated listenings, some songs could have been left off to create a more concise recording. I am a firm believer in the 8-12 song album. Otherwise, I'd recommend this cd to No Doubt fans and new fans.
Count me as one of the people who was initially if not dissappointed, at least sad that the sound was different from Tragic Kingdom. Well, trust me, this is No Doubt's best album to date...period. It only took me to the second listening to realize that the song writing was much more sophisticated, mature and interesting than on Tragic Kingdom, yet the music, while somewhat mellower than before, is just as great as the songwriting. There are some super up-tempo songs here so its not really as mellow as people would lead you to believe. What really grabs me though is the way that the songs grow on you and are enjoyable after dozens of listens. I can see listening to this one for a long time. And these songs ought to appeal to a broader audience than Tragic Kingdom, which is necessary since no band can survive for long depending on the young teen audience: their attention span is simply too short and tastes too fickle to stay with a band more than a year. I give this album a very high recommendation especially to those with no No Doubt prior experience, and especially for people throughout the 20's and 30's in age.
This is a great CD, however, even though it was sealed, I could tell that the disc was refurbished because there were light scuffs. It was ordered as new and the slip of paper inside confirmed the disc as new, but it wasn't.
1. Ex-Girlfriend...The intro guitar is cool. This song contains a lot of energy and I like the lyrics. Gwen comes off as stalker-ish. But I like it! 8/10
2. Simple Kind of Life...This track is pretty mellowed out while Gwen Stefani coos some of the lyrics. This song is a lot noisier than I remember too (until the awesome breakdown, anyway). Many find this track boring but I think it's a step up from the first single, Ex-Girlfriend. 9.5/10
3. Bathwater...The chorus is good, the song catchy. I also love the high notes Gwen hits towards the end. 10/10
4. Six Feet Under...This song is kinda quirky. I don't mind its quirkiness but I do care that Gwen's vocals are drowning under the production and instruments. Without the booklet, I wouldn't know what the hell she's saying. 7.75/10
5. Magic's in the Makeup...This song really tells a lot about Gwen in 2000. The production kinda floats through the air while Gwen confesses some of her downfalls. The vocal delivery is either a bit lazy or consisting of coos. 7.5/10
6. Artificial Sweetener...Funner than Magic's In The Makeup, and contains guitar, unlike the previous mentioned track. 8.25/10
7. Marry Me...This song may come off quite whiny at first but if you come back to it later, it may be a chilled-out experience. I've come to like its subdued, sad feel. 8.5/10
8. New...Yet another track on my Creative Zen. It's a very upbeat track with great lyrics. Catchy as hell it is. 9/10
9. Too Late...The guitar is HOT on this track. I can listen to this track over and over. Love the "Ah Ah Ah Ah..."'s at the end. 9/10
10. Comforting Lie...This song has a catchiness to it but the chorus is overshadowed. 7.75/10
11. Suspension Without Suspense...This song has a nice melody. Probably the most notable on this disc. The lyrics are OK. Nothing extremely great but decent. 8.25/10
12. Staring Problem... Fast, chaotic but still listen-able. 7/10
13. Home Now...Another track that seems mellowed out. Bursting chorus that makes the song kinda filler-sounding. But still a solid song. 8/10
14. Dark Blue... It sounds different than most of these songs so that's a plus! OK lyrics and nice approach to the vocals. There is a minute or so break and then an instrumental version of Too Late, mish-mashed plays for the outro. 8/10
I thought this album was pretty good! I don't like the last 2 tracks on the Cd, but the rest is pretty cool! Gwen's voice is much softer this time, and she sings beautifully! The lyrics are awesome as usual. I do like "Tragic kingdom" alot more for some reason. It's like this album is too "soft-pop" at times. It's not too heavy like in "Tragic kingdom" or "the Beacon street collection". I love the best is "new" and "ex-girlfriend" and "Artificial Sweetener" Those are the best in this album!
Great cd. I enjoyed listening to this again. As far as the actual sound, hmmmm some of the songs needed extras added. Sounded to demo like. I wonder if I have the first round of cds issued (those that waited for the cd to come out at midnight)....
Ska band No Doubt released their third record "Return of Saturn" in 2000. The album had quite a lot to live up to with its predecessor selling near a trillion records a couple years earlier, but this album simply didn't have the same punch as the previous record.
The problem for bands when they hit that pinnacle recording in their career is how to follow such an album up. That's what No Doubt faced in 2000 with "Return of Saturn." The band realized that the Ska scene wasn't going to last forever, and accordingly tried to expand their horizons with this album. There in lies the problem for me: I liked No Doubt as a Ska band, not as just another generic pop band. The album still boasts some pretty cool No Doubt songs, but the overall feel of the album is more bleak and down than "Tragic Kingdom." The best tracks from the album are "Ex-Boyfriend" and "Simple Kind of Life," and a couple others are enjoyable, but this album just didn't capture me like their previous record did.
I'm sure if you're a fan of No Doubt then you already have this record in your collection. However, if you just enjoyed the wonderful album that was "Tragic Kingdom" this album may make you stop and wonder what you're hearing.