On Gwen Stefani’s sophomore attempt of a solo career, “The Sweet Escape,” she fails to do anything except make the listener change the radio station.
The charm and cutesy, bubble gum voice that Stefani sang her heart out with on her albums with No Doubt has suddenly become whiney and flat. It has been lost in a background of dance beats and mediocre attempts at rap.
Her once unique sound that stood out on so many of her past songs now blends in with every other artist on the radio today.
Stefani starts her disc with her new single, “Wind It Up.” Only people with a background of Rogers and Hammerstein would recognize the yodeling and song beat from the beloved musical “Sound of Music.”
Her venture into yodeling is enough to turn Rogers and Hammerstein over in their graves.
The lyrics on this album also fall short of spectacular, falling into repetitions that often sound more like a bad Verizon commercial than actual music.
The singing veteran seems to have backtracked into bad adolescent attempts at writing deep, meaningful tunes.
Her song, “Breakin’ Up,” is three minutes and 46 seconds of torture, as Stefani repeats over and over again, “Hold up, I think you’re cutting out. Hold up, I think I’m losing you. Tell me, can you hear me now…”
There are a few songs that stand out on the record and save it from complete sophomore slump oblivion.
“Early Winter” is a throwback to songs like, “Simple Kind of Life,” from the less successful “Return To Saturn” from No Doubt, and gives a much-needed rest to throbbing eardrums.
This could be in part due to the fact that Stefani teamed up with Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley to write the song.
Another element that stands out is the fact that Stefani just can’t seem to get over her past love, Tony Kanal, who helped her on “4 in the Morning” and “Fluorescent,” a song even the old Madonna from the 80’s wouldn’t have made.
Overall, this album is definitely not worth the 14 dollaras that stores will probably be charging.
You’re better off downloading one or two songs, if you even want to waste that much money.
Final Grade: C-