|No Doubt - Return of Saturn|
|Music Disc Reviews Audio CD|
|Written by Brian Kahn|
|Tuesday, 11 April 2000|
| Performance 9 | Sound 7 |
The long-awaited No Doubt album has finally arrived. Five years after the release of their wildly successful ‘Tragic Kingdom,’ No Doubt’s new album ‘Return of Saturn.’ hits the stores on April 11th. Recorded over a span of two years, the group’s evolution is readily evident in the results. The album title ‘Return of Saturn’ refers to the 29-year wait for the planet Saturn to complete its orbit and the 29 years of growth and evolution that occurs during that time. As you might have guessed, this album is more introspective than past efforts by the band, but fans should not despair. No Doubt has not gone soft.
The album opens with the hit single "Ex-Girlfriend." It is rumored that this song is about singer Gwen Stefani and bassist Tony Kanal’s past romantic partnership. The lyrics truly capture the heartbreak of a failed relationship. The tracks "Marry Me" and "Simple Kind of Life" continue to explore the themes of love and romance. One of my favorite songs, "Artificial Sweetener," utilizes and expands upon the album’s title in its lyrics, discussing self-evaluation and the lies we often feed ourselves. This track does well in summing up the overall message of the album. Look at yourself and take stock in your life and your deeds.
‘Return of Saturn’ continues to deliver great tracks such as the song "New," previously released on the ‘Go’ soundtrack, and the awesome "Too Late." This song tells the tale of getting caught up in an overbearing relationship,
The music on ‘Return of Saturn’ is varied, from the mellow "Marry Me" to the rocking "Ex-Girlfriend," with the offbeat and very fun, retro-inspired "Bathwater" in between. As strong as the words are, the music keeps up without a struggle. I could go on and on about the great lyrics throughout the songs mentioned above, as well as the remainder of the album. There is not a single song here with weak lyrics. The band spent a good deal of time together in a house in the Hollywood Hills, writing songs for the album, before going into the recording studio. From the results, it’s quite apparent that this was time well spent.
No Doubt fans will be pleased to know that this new introspective view of the band is a package that lives up to expectations, with creative, expressive and fun songs. This album is enjoyable on more than one level. After hearing it many times now, I still enjoy listening to it all the way through, getting lost in the music, not thinking about it, just absorbing it. The album also satisfies me during my (admittedly rare) intellectual moments, giving the old conscience plenty to think about. In fact, this album more than satisfies. Put it on your list of albums that you need to buy.