Dirrrty Pop Review: Gwen Stefani – Love Angel Music Baby

After hearing that this album was a bit disappointing overall I approached without the high expectations I’d usually have for a Gwen Stefani project, but even if I had listened to LAMB with those high expectations they would have been surpassed, because this in my opinion is an excellent album. Some of the songs are similar to her usual sound with No Doubt, while others incorporate all sorts of new styles. There’s r’n’b, electropop and even some which could easily be called pop ballads! This is a great pop album which Gwen should be proud of.

1. What You Waiting For

What better way to begin an album than with one of the best singles of 2004? It’s insane but genius, and exactly how modern pop music should sound. 10/10

2. Rich Girl

I was never keen on Let Me Blow Your Mind, so didn’t expect too much from this but it’s not the r’n’b disaster it could be – in fact it’s rather good! 7/10

3. Hollaback Girl

Gwen is almost rapping on this track that lands somewhere between Utada Hikaru, Fannypack and Destiny’s Child’s current style. I didn’t know quite what to make of this one on first listen but now it’s a big favourite. 10/10

4. Cool

I’m not a fan of the word “cool” or many things described as it, as they’re usually far from it, but this songs turns out to be a lovely mid-tempo rock/pop number, showing off Gwen’s singing talent. It is very short, though. 7/10

5. Bubble Pop Electric

Continuing the tradition of Pop and Pop!ular, the word ‘Pop’ in this song’s title automatically makes it brilliant. If Aqua had been a ska band this is how solo Lene would have sounded. This is the cool version of Barbie Girl and as all proper pop fans know that only spells yay! 10/10

6. Luxurious

Sampling an Isley Brothers classic, this is a laid-back sexy song and therefore not really my ‘thing’ but it is nice to listen to in a relaxing mood and is growing on me with each listen. 7/10

7. Hajaruku Girls

Gwen’s homage to the fashionable girls of Tokyo’s Hajaruku district with the Japanese girls themselves joining in throughout the song in both English and Japanese. The lyrics read more like a slightly one-sided coversation than a song and she throws in plenty of advertisement for her clothing line. 7/10

8. Crash

Very Salt’n’Pepa! It’s like Push It for the ’00s, with a touch of Republica and again Fannypack. This was actually produced by Gwen’s No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal which is surprising to me as it’s one of the tracks least like their usual style. 9/10

9. The Real Thing

Gwen goes all soppy on us but only in the finest electro way – in fact there’s a surprising touch of PSBs about it. Very pretty and sweet but not sickly in the slightest. 8/10

10. Serious

The classical beginning always excites me as so many fabulous songs have them, and this very 80s number is no let-down. Funnily enough the chorus is not as different from Pop!’s single of the same name as you might expect! But twice the fun and ten times the cool. 9/10

11. Danger Zone

Like WYWF, this is rather Surferosa-esque (ie. Euro thrahs pop, look them up!) which never fails in my books but it could probably do with a stronger chorus and lyrics to keep up with the rest of this song and the others around it. 7/10

12. Long Way To Go

Apart from Hey Ya, the genius of which cannot be denied, Outkast have pretty much passed me by and I’m presuming this track was only included because of Andre 3000’s appearance cos it’s nothing special. Andre clearly can’t be botherd to adapt to other people’s styles as this sounds just like his own album and nothing like the rest of Gwen’s. It did make my Dad come rushing upstairs to find out what it was though!5/10

13. The Real Thing (Wendy and Lisa Slow Jam Mix)

I love how this was mixed by Wendy and Lisa – no fancy pseudonyms or trendy/tacky American names, in fact they sound more like someone’s Mum and Aunt! This is as you will guess, a slow ballad version of The Real Thing and very nice but lacking the electro aceness of the original. 6/10

14. What You Waiting For? (Elevator)

An amusing and weird but quite pointless extra track which I doubt I will listen to very much at all, although it is the best piece of elevator music I’ve heard recently! 4/10

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