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The Sweet Escape

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iTunes Review

Opening a pop album with a callback to The Sound of Music is a risky move, but Gwen Stefani knows how to make gambles pay off. The chant-powered “Wind It Up” launches Stefani on a whirlwind trip through exciting new territories, although she makes sure to take the occasional breather. The Akon-assisted title track updates soda shop sing-alongs for the 21st century, while “Yummy” backs Stefani’s teasing boasts with a bouncing ball beat. “Wonderful Life,” meanwhile, reinforces her status as one of pop’s prime power balladeers.

Customer Reviews

This Sounds Like Disco Tetris

Many of those who enjoy making overly ironic jokes routinely mentioned at the release of the new Gwen Stefani single, Wind it Up, that she was totally ripping of Fergie’s faux rap style. Of course it was actually Stefani that started the trend that has also been utilized since by Nelly Furtado and Cassie with her Middle School anthems off her debut album. Granted long before Stefani and Fergie, Toni Basil was the first to revolutionize the singing cadence in her cheerleader inspired Mickey. There is a good chance that Basil may have inspired Stefani because it is apparent on Love Angel Music Baby as well as her latest release, The Sweet Escape, that she loves the 80’s almost as much as VH1. After going even further back in time with the Sound of Music sampling Wind it Up to open the album, the 80’s influences come fast and often. Early Winter sounds like Cyndi Lauper through the No Doubt filter circa Simple Kind of Life. The song, produced by the keyboardist from Keane, is easily the standout track, but mostly because there is little competition. The next closest track is 4 in the Morning, produced by No Doubt’s Tony Kanel, which has a mid-eighties R&B feel to it as Stefani sounds like a one woman version of The Jets. Elsewhere on the album the eighties elements fall flat. On Fluorescent the song is about one note away from blatantly ripping of the classic from the decad Human by The Human League. The Neptunes continue there downfall with a few weak tracks on the album including Yummy which Stefani herself says, “This sounds like disco Tetris.” I can’t imagine anyone else would think that is a good idea. They also produced the ill-advised Breakin’ Up. No it is not about dumping a boyfriend, it is instead about a dropped phone call. And it even turns out lamer than it sounds. Trying to recreate Hollaback Girl, we get Don’t Get it Twisted chalk full of profanities and a chorus that lift the melody from the Ringling Brothers. The big different is that this song is much less chant worthy than its predecessor. Hopefully some time after this album Stefani realizes she is inching closer to forty and needs to get back together with her band and stop making trite music for thirteen year old girls. Oh yeah, and please don’t ever yodel again, leave that to Jewel.

Your ears will have a Sweet Escape!

Gwen is a true artist hands down! This new album is leaps and bounds beyond her original foray into popular culture. It was tough to create a satisfying sequel to L.A.M.B. but the time has come to finally retired the old, the new sounds are here! Gwen’s first solo CD created an innovative niche that was fueled by our generations’ lust for cross genre pollination. After Gwen’s album hit shelves it seems like every female artist had a little spark of inspiration to borrow including Madonna, Fergie, and Nelly Furtado, to Paris Hilton, Rhianna, Ashlee Simpson etc… Instead of becoming tired with the beat that made her solo career pop and leads everyone to emulate - she moved the genre forward and pushed the sounds farther. We all fell in love with her during No Doubt’s reign and over time she has evolved her sound like any real artist should. As a solo artist she is able to fully explore music that is outside No Doubts spectrum and that musical curiosity is shining through brighter on her sophomore solo ensemble. You cannot judge her solo CD based on her previous bands work as it is something else entirely. Gwen has always been about It was a daring risks and you must admit that despite what genre she’s singing she produces hits and is an innovative superstar, buy her CD already it’s quite the Sweet Escape!

NO! Gwen, what have you done?

I'm deeply saddened by the hip-hop follower. Gwen Stefani made such great music, but now this sounds like everything else on the radio- even her look has changed. I like 'Wonderful Life' the best and 'Early Winter' is alright, but everything else is so different... : ( Come back to us, Gwen!


Born: October 3, 1969 in Fullerton, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Before she discovered she could write songs, Gwen Stefani was looking forward to a life of marriage, children, and white picket fences. When her brother introduced her to ska and new wave music, it set off a chain of events that would eventually lead to millions of albums sold and a Madonna-sized public image that extended past music and into the worlds of film, fashion, and technology. Born and raised in Fullerton, California, Stefani had a musical epiphany at the age of 17. She had fallen in...
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