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This is a way different sound than that of Tragic Kingdom but in a good way. My favourite songs are the singles from the album: Ex-Girlfriend, Simple Kind of Life, Bathwater, and New. No Doubt has done it again!
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.
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!
nearly all these songs were top radio hits, mostly because they're very catchy and the lyrics are clever. this was really the album that got me interested in No Doubt, but I accidentally bought Tragic Kingdom first (definitely recommend that one too!).
I had order this cd and it was quoted to arrive in 5-7 business days. When the arrival date came and pasted and called and complained. After some resistance from th customer care agent he finally agreed to send me my cd's by expedited FedEx. The first set of cd's didn't arrive until another week later. I advise to never have something like that to arrive my US Mail. It is a nightmare.