No Doubt – Settle Down
It seems like No Doubt have been away for a pretty long time. Their last album ‘Rock Steady’ came out way back in 2001, since when singer Gwen Stefani has created her own clothing line, two solo albums and two children. But despite all her extra-curricular activities, the band never really went away. While they haven’t produced any new music apart from a cover of a Talk Talk’s ‘It’s My Life’ for their 2002 singles collection, the band kept on playing live, holding on to plans to make a new record when the time was right.
It looks like that time is now, with ‘Settle Down’ forming the first act in what they’re hoping will be a successful comeback with album ‘Push and Shove. According to the band, the records long genesis was a result of not wanting to rush things and only come back when the time was right.
“In 2008, Gwen was pregnant with Zuma, and we tried really hard to write,” guitarist Tom Dumont told Oyster. “We thought we were gonna write an album that year, and it just kinda wasn’t coming out. We weren’t coming up with stuff that was great, and so rather than keep trying, we turned around and decided to play. Playing live was always the thing that came most naturally to us, what we were naturally best at, and it really worked, so by the end of 2009, we had written the first song for this album, which was ‘Undercover’, and then, throughout the next year wrote the rest of the album and recorded it in 2011. So I mean, really, most of our albums have taken about that long. Not a ten year gap — as far as the actual writing and recording, it took about two years, which is pretty much on track for us.”
The release of ‘Settle Down’ is well timed to coincide with the belated arrival of summer. It’s a sparky party tune with a bouncy electro-calypso shuffle and some exotic Eastern flourishes that shows the band’s long absence hasn’t diminished their knack for a memorable hook. It’ll do nicely to tide fans over until the September release of ‘Push and Shove’.