My love of Gwen Stefani and her music goes back for as long as I can remember. She is equal parts underrated and influential; she’s not one of the big huge names like a Madonna or a Cher that instantly brings about cultural references and is known for paving the way in pop music, but, in my opinion, Gwen has paved the way for newer artists and her style has certainly influenced artists and fans alike. Gwen truly shines when she’s with No Doubt, but her debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby, is what made me notice her. It’s hard to believe it’s been 10 years since that album was released, and now Gwen is finally releasing some more music on her own. Her latest single is called ‘Baby Don’t Lie’, and it’s a mid-tempo and eclectic love song. It manages to sound completely separate to the tracks from LAMB or Gwen’s sophomore album, The Sweet Escape, but at the same time it fits nicely alongside tracks from those albums in Gwen’s solo discography.
‘Baby Don’t Lie’ brings us a softer lyrical side of Gwen, which may make this track one to pass for those that favor her aggressive style in tracks such as ‘Hollaback Girl’ or No Doubt classics. The reggae inspired beat works nicely for the track, but it somehow manages to feel a bit out of place at times, much like the yodeling in ‘Wind It Up’ from The Sweet Escape. (Okay, maybe not that out of place.)
The track does, however, match up perfectly to its cover art. Unusual, artistic, and authentic Gwen. It’s a solid track from Stefani, although it’s none too daring and doesn’t begin to push her boundaries. The single should be a safe release for Gwen’s comeback, and if successful, it will hopefully allow Gwen to release more edgy tracks. ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ is good, but just that. It’s good enough, though, and will certainly spark the public’s interest in Gwen and make them remember her musical talents (it’s been over 5 years since her last solo single, ‘Early Winter’, was released!). While ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ is a well-made pop song, I’m more looking forward to the rest of the album, or perhaps even the song’s music video could strengthen my love for the track. I know the pop goodness Gwen is capable of, and I know that her upcoming album will be a long overdue dose of heaven from a true pop goddess.
Edit: Updated 10/23/14 with music video. As much as I wanted the video to blow me out of the water, it didn’t, and ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ feels more like album filler than a single. Here’s hoping it is the start of even better music from the lovely Gwen.