I thought that "L.A.M.B." was a very solid debut for Gwen, and this sophomore effort doesn't quite disappoint either. Her first solo effort seemed to be consistent and well thought out, at first listen; this just seems weak and rushed in comparison. Yeah, some of the songs are cool but there are definitely more tracks on here that are skip-worthy than on her first album.
"The Sweet Escape" is definitely more R&B influenced, whereas "L.A.M.B" was more Pop/Rock influenced. But despite this difference between them, both albums have that eclectic and quirky diversity that we've come to expect from Gwen. After a few listens I come to realize that she does best (solo wise) when she's doing pop songs rather than when she's Hip-Hop/R&B. To me, the moments that give The Sweet Escape its sweetness as well as being the strongest are the title track, "4 in the Morning," " Fluorescent," "U Started It" and "Wonderful "life." All of these have great choruses. But "Early Winter" takes the cake here; she sounds like her old self on this track making you believe that she was back with No Doubt. I also like "Yummy" due to its sexy lyrics, "Sweet Escape," "Now That You Got It," and "Don't Get It Twisted" with its techno and dance-hall vibe.
"The Sweet Escape," sounds like it's aching to grab hold of her long-standing love of new wave pop. The production of this album is pretty creative. The reason it's a 3 and not a 4 is because the songs seem to clash a bit making it sound too much alike. But regardless, this is definitely one to pick up if you're interested or enjoyed the singles off L.A.M.B.