The Bottom Line
It has been a decade since we have heard new material from No Doubt. Old fans are likely to be pleased. "Settle Down" is unmistakably No Doubt. Built on a sun-splashed reggae beat and powered by Gwen Stefani's confident vocals, it does sound like the band never left. "Settle Down" is a great teaser for the upcoming album Push and Shove. No Doubt have the potential for a major pop comeback.
- Instantly familiar No Doubt reggae-pop sound
- Gwen Stefani's confident vocals
- Feel good atmosphere
- No new ground broken
- Written by Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, and Tom Dumont
- Produced by Spike Stent
- Released July 2012 by Interscope
Guide Review - No Doubt - "Settle Down"
"Settle Down" kicks off with vaguely exotic sounds creating an air of expectation. It's not long before a gentle reggae beat kicks in and we hear Gwen Stefani's unmistakable throaty vocals. This is the No Doubt we last heard on Rock Steady. There is just enough of a twist in the sound to attract rock and alternative fans, but at their heart, No Doubt are a bright, candy-colored pop band seducing their audience with catchy hooks and Gwen Stefani's sassy attitude. "Settle Down" sounds like a perfect end of summer party tune. Drive to the beach with friends for one last bonfire burning into the night while welcoming Gwen and the crew back to your personal playlist.
No Doubt first blasted into the mainstream pop scene in 1995 with the massive hit album Tragic Kingdom. It sold over 10 million copies and included the iconic "Don't Speak." After the follow up Return Of Saturn was a commercial disappointment, the group returned at their poppiest with 2001's Rock Steady. It generated three major hit singles. However, except for a greatest hits collection, No Doubt have been quiet since. Lead vocalist Gwen Stefani launched a highly successful solo career, but the group never officially broke up.
All signs are that radio across the spectrum of pop, alternative, and rock have embraced the return of No Doubt. That is a significant feat for a group that has been absent for a decade. However, "Settle Down" is a feel good song by a group that has much of their fan base intact. The sound of the song, as produced by master engineer Spike Stent, is timeless. No Doubt manage to sound both retro and contemporary at the same time. Don't miss the fun, celebratory music video directed by Sophie Muller. Welcome back No Doubt!