The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

CD Review-Gwen Stefani: The Sweet Escape

By Isaiah Smith/entertainment editor

Gwen Stefani reinvents her style, with a modern twist, on her second solo album The Sweet Escape. The rocker-chick lead for No Doubt sounds fresh and exciting with this mix of pop music.

“You work so hard on the music. It’s such an emotional outlet,” Stefani said in a press release. “It’s just an expression of your personality. It shows who you are without having to use words, just the music.”

“Wonderful Life” has a pulsing beat with a catchy chorus. Stefani shows emotion on this song, a definite single. The music sounds a little pop, a little techno and very new.

Stefani had some good help on this album, too, featuring names like Akon, Pharrell, The Neptunes and even Keane’s Tim Rice-Oxley.

“The Sweet Escape,” which features Akon, is the second single and has received major airplay. Stefani describes the track as “’60s girl pop meets hip-hop.”

“I kept getting people saying, ‘You’ve gotta work with this guy Akon,’” Stefani said in the release. “I cancelled the session because I was burned out. Jimmy [Lovine] calls and says, ‘You can cancel everything else. Just don’t cancel this session! You have to work with Akon.’ I said, ‘Okay, dude. I’ll go.’”

“Early Winter,” co-written by Rice-Oxley, is one of my favorite tracks. The lyrics are touching with Stefani singing ballad lyrics. The influence from Keane can be distinctly heard, but that is a good thing.

“I just really wanted a ballad on this record,” she said in the release. “Tim had never written outside of Keane before. The song is so beautiful and addictive.”

Stefani loves to mix genres. “Wind It Up,” the first single released off The Sweet Escape, is a mix of beats by The Neptunes and The Sound of Music.

“It’s just a dream I’ve always had,” she said about the track. “To take The Sound of Music—which is one of my favorite movies of all time—and put it on vinyl … When I heard the mash-up, I actually cried.”

Stefani’s modern take on yodeling and polka music, mixing it with hip-hop and a drum-line, is progressive. More artists should take risks like this one.

Pharrell adds his touch with the track “Yummy.” He and Stefani sing this sexually charged track with tribal drumming interspersed with video game sounds.

This CD really is a sweet escape. I give it five stars.

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