6 Reasons Why We Miss The Old Gwen Stefani And No Doubt
November 5, 2014 - 6:59 pm
We want that old thing back.
Artists evolve, people change, and musical direction shifts gears. And all of these things are a normal part of the artistic process. Both the band and Gwen as a soloist have enjoyed abundant success with the dissimilar musical styles (in comparison to their ‘90s sound) that started with 2001’s Rock Steady. And there’s no aversion towards the wide array of bands out there today. But there hasn’t been that all-American band that has enthralled the global multitude with their own personal stamp—and gone diamond doing it—like with the sounds heard in Tragic Kingdom.
That entire decade spawned some serious albums—of all genres. Tragic Kingdom brings to mind the world of old.
Subsequent to the release of Tragic Kingdom, No Doubt was accused by earlier fans of “selling out,” labeling the band systematically contrived and claiming they disassociated themselves with their original sound. On the contrary, songs like “Don’t Speak,” “Spiderwebs,” “Just a Girl”—and others—proved to be a working formula that empowered the band’s accessibility to indomitable mass appeal and facilitated a relatable approach that attracted millions of listeners. It also reopened doors to the long-forgotten ska-punk movement. Largely, Tragic Kingdom became the remedy they needed to right their ship in the opaque and dissolution-plagued commercial spectrum.
Little known fact: Adrian Young started playing the drums just one year before auditioning for No Doubt in the late ‘80s, unbeknownst to Gwen and the gang. Aligning this fact with a drummer’s significance in any band brings to light how important natural ability really is. Young is the team’s anchor, the invisible force behind the group that dominated its way to a worldwide 16 million units. We hear less of this with his admitted use of studio machinery on later albums.
The No Doubt debut and Beacon Street Collection aficionados expressed ire for the work displayed throughout Tragic Kingdom. And many Tragic Kingdom/Return of Saturn die-hards found themselves bored with the pop/dancehall transformation embraced by the group—and later welcomed by Gwen in her solo venture—in the new millennium. But whichever version of the band is preferred, it’s clear that coalescence of these artistic phases would result in a ridiculously great—and eclectically intense—album.