It’s really happening! After a long detour into solo territory and (ugh) fashion, Gwen Stefani has finally come to her senses and reunited with her former band mates to record the first No Doubt album since 2001′s Rock Steady. The first single, “Settle Down,” (off the imminent Push and Shove) is out today, and it’s just as great as I remember No Doubt being back in middle school when I was putting bindis on my forehead.
This band has never been afraid to dabble in the music of other cultures, and that tradition continues with the extended Middle Eastern intro. From there, it breaks into the pop-rock-reggae formula that’s served them so well in the past, with Gwen’s unmistakable vibrato imploring us to “get get get…in line and settle down.” I’m always amazed by the amount of character Gwen has in her quaky voice, managing to sound bratty, sardonic, and carefree all at once. (The sound of youth, from the mouth of a woman who insists on aging backwards.) And when she chants “I’m a ruff and tuff, I’m a ruff and tough, and nothing’s gonna knock this girl down” on the bridge, we are, as always, in her corner.
Listen to the new track above, and get psyched for the album’s September 25 release date.
UPDATE: And now there’s a music video!!! Oh, happy day.