The Bottom Line
After "Wind It Up" failed to be the grand return to the top of the pop charts Gwen Stefani was surely hoping for, she wasted no time in pushing out the breezy title song from her album The Sweet Escape. It is indeed a welcome change from the over-produced "Wind It Up," but "The Sweet Escape" easily jets in one ear and out the other leaving little trace of its presence.
- Light, breezy pop radio fare
- Welcome retreat from over-produced production numbers
- Eminently forgettable
- Bouncy retro-pop beat
- Pleasant, but barely noticeable, backing vocals from Akon
- Midwinter sounds of summer
Guide Review - Gwen Stefani featuring Akon - The Sweet Escape
Gwen Stefani surprised many in the music industry when her first solo album Love, Angel, Music, Baby became a worldwide smash led by the combination of lowbrow culture and high production values that made "Hollaback Girl" one of the bigget hits of the year. Stefani seemed to master her wide-ranging pop music influences rearranging the various parts to put together a sound and image distinctly her own. The entire concept created a dizzying and invigorating ride for fans and critics alike.
"Wind It Up," the first single from Gwen Stefani's second solo album, seemed to want to kick the party off with another big production in the mode of "Hollaback Girl," but, unfortunately, everything about "Wind It Up" seems a bit stale and lacks resonance over multiple times of hearing the song. Following the failure of "Wind It Up" to reach the upper reaches of the pop singles chart, the album's title song "The Sweet Escape" was rushed out to radio featuring backing vocal contributions from the hotter-than-hot master collaborator Akon. The new song is breezy and light which goes far to explain pop radio's eagerness to embrace it.
"The Sweet Escape" seems to want to be the "Cool" of this album. Unfortunately, the new song is lacking in the emotional impact that made "Cool" memorable. "The Sweet Escape" is a fun, easy 4 minutes, but it looks like we will have to wait until at least the 3rd single, if not a later album, for the next smash hit from Gwen Stefani.