If I hear "This sh** is bananas, b-a-n-a-n-a-s," I am going to go crazy. That must be the most over sung line by soccer moms and their 7 year old daughters. If I was famous for one thing, I would not be known for that.
Stefani first started out as the lead singer in ska band No Doubt, and then branched out to a solo album. Her gimmick has been to act like a twenty-one year old college student whose lyrics contain a lot about sex, drugs, and alcohol. Stefani, now thirty seven, is married to
Stefani's new album, "Sweet Escape," is another catchy, teeny bopper record that does not break any boundaries in the world of pop. In fact, it might have regress the overall state of mainstream pop, hip-hop, and R&B.
Stefani's first track and the first single off of the album, "Wind It Up," is an atrocious way to start off the record. It begins with a cowboy yodeling and then breaks into a beat that is trying to imitate that of "Hollaback Girl." The song never picks up, as it stays in a sort of mediocre teeny bop speed the whole time. After the first track, my expectations dropped tremendously for this album.
However, the second single based on the album's name, "The Sweet Escape," featuring Akon, brought my spirits up that this actually might still be good. Akon immediately makes his presence, by singing "whoo hoo, yee hoo," and Stefani comes with her part. This is actually a good song, as Stefani and her producer(s) must've worked hard to put this song out to cover the lack of quality for the rest of the album.
After the second track, the album drops off, tremendously. Stefani falls into an abyss of generic pop and hip-hop. Tracks like "Now That You Got It" and "Yummy" make it seem like Stefani isn't very versatile because they sound very much the same only with different music. The beats are practically the same only arranged differently.\ Other tracks, like "Orange County Girl" and "Early Winter" also get lost in the generic pop scene that has troubled many artists over the years. The lyrics, probably not written by her, don't allow Stefani to be taken seriously for her age or even her gimmick. While the lyrics are supposed to be "sexy" they are stupid and ridiculous. For example, in the song "Don't Get It Twisted," Stefani sings, "Nighttime, flip-flop, this time, push my luck/ he was really looking hot, anticipation building up/ space Invaders, turn up all the faders, need a translator/ Pete, can you go and get a test?"
Also, it seems like the writers for this album ran out of ideas. In the last few songs of the album, Stefani sings the same lines over and over again and then sticks a three line verse in the song just to break up the monotony.
It is troubling how Stefani was able to get a major label (Interscope Records), release with such a mediocre album bothers me because she doesn't have much time left. If you figure she will be forty by her next album, then her gimmick would be worn off. It's not much longer that she can sing lyrics like "I know you've been waiting but I've been off making babies/ and like a chef making donuts and pastries/ it's time to make you sweat sex and sugar is the flavor."
In my opinion this is going to be Stefani's last album. This was mediocre, and that is being a little kind. Stefani tries to express herself being much younger through the lyrics, but by using non-sensible words and phrases she does the complete opposite. In a world where one hit can get you famous, it can also mean the end of a career. Now everyone expects Stefani to come out with another "Hollaback Girl," and this album just doesn't have one of those types of songs.
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