The Bottom Line
- Smooth, mid-tempo reflection sounds great on the radio
- Gwen's lost Cyndi Lauper tune
- Doesn't immediately grab attention like her other singles
- Mid-tempo 80's-ish synth sheen courtesy producer and co-writer Dallas Austin
- Lyrics reflect healing in relationship with former lover and bandmate Tony Kanal
- Likely long-term radio appeal
Guide Review - Gwen Stefani - Cool
One of the top pop music stories of 2005 is the emergence of Gwen Stefani, lead singer of No Doubt, as a solo star. Her debut album Love, Angel, Music, Baby has spent months in the top 10 of the albums chart while spawning three hit singles. She has gathered #1 hits on the pop and dance singles charts while breaking into the r&b chart. "Cool" is a clear bid to top the adult contemporary and adult top 40 charts while holding her pop audience.
"Cool," whose lyrics seem to detail the healing in Gwen's relationship with former lover and No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal, gets an appealing wistful-sounding sheen from producer and co-writer Dallas Austin. Previously, Dallas Austin worked on a wide range of major pop hits by artists from Boyz II Men to TLC and Madonna. "Cool" has the same warm, reflective feel of major Cyndi Lauper hits in the 80's such as "Time After Time" and "All Through the Night." Lauper and Stefani share a vocal quirkiness that stamps their music as uniquely their own while remaining firmly anchored in classic pop.
Audiences are clearly hungry for more from Gwen Stefani. "Cool" is quickly being added to pop radio playlists despite a lack of publicity from Gwen Stefani's record label. "Cool" lacks the drama of "Rich Girl" and "Hollaback Girl" but easily takes its own unassuming place in the listener's memory. The song's wide-ranging appeal should guarantee it a place on radio playlists for months.