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Return of Saturn
|Price:||CDN$ 18.94 & FREE Shipping on orders over CDN$ 25. Details|
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Australian version featuring 1 bonus track: 'Big Distraction'.
After No Doubt sold more than 10 million copies of Tragic Kingdom, riding that wave of success without toppling over must have been a daunting mission. No sweat for No Doubt. The band toiled as national unknowns with a loyal local following for a decade before that album's release, and during that time the band members were learning how to be better songwriters and musicians. The follow-up, Return of Saturn, glides along that continuum of songcraft perfection. The band presents a cleaner, less apologist representation of their influences. They pull off some of the more difficult maneuvers of pure reggae, ground-pounding ska, and Cars-esque New Wave. Gwen Stefani, the fearless Orange County princess, belts a powerful pout, her Mae West-meets-Siouxsie Sioux vocal bravado the bungee cord that springs in between the band's retro tendencies and SoCal pop-punk attitude. It seems believable that she could stamp her foot and always get her way, but her self-deprecating confessions evade brattiness. Songs like "Bathwater" and "Ex-Girlfriend" reveal the singer's vulnerability to being hurt or dumped on, and the band's sense of humor and exploration (albeit firmly controlled) matches the songs' sentiments. This group is growing out and tightening up, and while the rest of the ska-punk surfer-dude bands do nothing more than repeat history, No Doubt is creating it. --Beth Massa
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Top Customer Reviews
1)Ex-Girlfriend: The most radio-friendly song on the album. Has a punky, almost rockish feel to it. Gwen raps or whispers her lyrics during the song, and the chorus is extremely catchy.
2)Simple Kind Of Life: The very first song ever composed soley by Gwen Stefani: words and music. Gwen sings about a relationship which she hoped would work out. Now don't kill me for this, but doesn't the chorus remind you of something by Shania Twain? Anyway, the song has a sort of poppy feel to it.
3)Bathwater: Wow. One of the best songs on the CD! No Doubt return to their ska roots and put in a bit of punk, and you get this! The lyrics are hard to understand, I suggest you get the lyric book inside the CD and read the words as though it was a story.
4)Six Feet Under: A fantastic song about death, Gwen's vocals are amazing in this song. If you've ever wondered about this song, you'll find you can relate. I sing this song all day and annoy my friends.
5)Magic's In The Make-up: Not one of my favourites, but a good song all the same. Gwen sings about her make-up, and how it hides who she truly is.
6)Artificial Sweetener: A great song about faking love, and Kanal is heard well in this. My favourite!
7)Marry Me: A haunting melody about marriage. Is this a proposal? Sounds like it to me. Another song with hard to understand lyrics, I'm afraid, but a catchy 'marrrry meeeee'.
8)New: Gwen sings about a person who is 'new' to her and is turning her world upside down. I love the keyboards, is that you Adrian?Read more ›
"Return of Saturn" fails to fall into the cracks of the two albums it's wedged in between: its solid, fun, and deep throughout. It shows considerably more lyrical strength than the even more than stable "Tragic Kingdom" and a more faithful sound than the still-excellent "Rock Steady." The singles are equally as effective as the album-only material (specifically third single "Bathwater," a ska/cabaret mishmash which is one of their best singles to date and the album exclusive "Comforting Lie," a haphazard and stunning blend of flamenco and surf guitars), and frontwoman Gwen Stefani's lyrics plumb the depths of her seemingly endless musical mind, allowing the band to flaunt a brand new style of maturity that was lacking on "Tragic Kingdom" and lost underneath the gleam on "Rock Steady.Read more ›
However, I think the melodies of the some of the other tracks are not as memorable as Rock Steady or even the fine debut. I've played through this CD about five times now and I really cannot remember much about the melodies in such songs as Magic's In The Makeup, Marry Me, New, Home Now, and Too Late. The arrangements jog my memory a drop that there were some jazz touches on Marry Me as well as a fairly compelling riff on Too Late. However the slight drop off in the level of these melodies does make a difference.
Also, the tone of many of these songs is quite depressing. Don't get me wrong, Fleetwood Mac produced an entire record of heartbreaking tunes with Rumours. However, the songs on Rumours were very melody focused and even provided an inkling of hope. Just listen to Don't Stop. These Return of Saturn numbers seem to wallow in despair with little trace that anything will get better.
Don't get me wrong, Return of Saturn is a good CD. And No Doubt is one of the best things going in the contemporary music world today. However, it falls a little(not a lot) short of their best material.
Most recent customer reviews
I can't stand their new CD, Rock Steady, and it made me appreciate this cd along with their older ones even more. I miss the pre-2001 No doubt. Read morePublished on July 6 2004
I liked No Doubt during Tragic Kingdom but didn't really jump on the bandwagon and liked them cause everyone seemed to though I could tolerate them. Read morePublished on June 24 2004
After No Doubt's release of Tragic Kingdom, I thought it impossible for them to top it. What a shock I got when I picked up Return of Saturn, the group's best album. Read morePublished on June 5 2004
This is a great sounding CD. No Doubt has never lost their distinctive sca foundation, and this cd has some great tracks on it. A good follow-up to the Tragic Kingdom.Published on April 9 2004 by Russell Madison
this is certifyably a great cd. New, bathwater, ex-girlfriend, and simple kind of life are the best tracks. you must buy this cd!Published on Feb. 21 2004 by leigha
I think that this is an excellent CD... actually very different from Tragic Kingdom, I think. This CD didn't have the influence of Eric Stefani, who was no longer a band member at... Read morePublished on Jan. 15 2004
This is a great album from start to finish. Too bad No Doubt had to go and sell out. This was the last of their great work.Published on Jan. 11 2004 by Miles
'Return of Saturn' is where No Doubt's music took a huge change. They departed from their familiar ska/punk sound from previous albums and went for a more new wave/poppier... Read morePublished on Jan. 7 2004 by Megzi