Review: ‘Push and Shove’ satisfies pop cravings

Michael Bragg

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.
Pop-rock band No Doubt released their newest album “Push and Shove” Tuesday after an 11 year hiatus from the music world.

“Push and Shove” cements the band’s new role in a music scene now dominated by the likes of Katy Perry, Justin Beiber and other pop “icons.”  

When their album “Tragic Kingdom” was released 18 years ago, No Doubt pumped their cheery, dance-hall tracks and paraded around their flashy lead singer in the midst of the contrary grunge and punk scene of the late 1980s and 1990s. 

Lead singer Gwen Stefani, though just as flashy of a dresser and dancer as she was back in the day, is now a mom of two and hasn’t spent any time on reality television or in rehab.  Silly lyrics like “We be on another level like we doin’ yoga” remind the listener what fun they’ve been missing for the past 11 years without No Doubt in the scene. 

The title track “Push and Shove,” which features DJs Major Lazer and Busy Signal, brings the album into the modern era while still retaining their unique pop-meets-dance-club vibe.  

What makes this record shine is Stefani and No Doubt’s ability to pick their upbeat sound right back up where they left off 11 years ago. 

The pre-released single “Settle Down” is another standout track, with Jamaican-inspired beats and a music video that makes you want to get in your car and drive to the giant parking lot dance party they’re at.  However, when the band tries to slow it down on emotional tracks like “Undone” it feels a little stale and doesn’t have nearly the same effect as their earlier-era ballads like “Don’t Speak.” 

On this album, No Doubt does what they’ve always done best—have fun with their music.  So leave the emotional wailing to someone else, guys.  All-in-all Push and Shove is the type of album that might make you feel silly blaring tracks like “Looking Hot” out of your car, but this critic is going to do it anyway.

Rating: Two and a half out of four stars

Story: EMMA SPECKMAN, A&E Reporter