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I recently rediscovered this album whilst have a clear out, and still enjoyed listening to it as much as I did when I first heard it.
If you aren't aware of No Doubt - they are a band who released five albums between 1992 and 2001. The lead singer was Gwen Stefani, who has now went on to achieve success in her solo career. I first became a fan of No Doubt when they released 'Don't Speak', which did really well in the charts and made them well known to a lot of people.
The other thing that made me buy their albums was the fact that I loved (still do) Gwen Stefani - I just thought she looked so cool and unique, as well as having a fab voice and song writing talent.
This album - Return Of Saturn - was their fourth album and was released in 2000, with Gwen Stefani having wrote or co-wrote all the tracks. The style of the album is a bit rocky, with a few ballads.
My favorite tracks on the album are the following:
EX - GIRLFRIEND
This track is a cool, rocky tune which starts fast and keeps the speed up throughout. Gwen is singing about a break-up, and now being nothing more than an ex-girlfriend. The lyrics are great, her voice is fab and the backing music is fantastic - love this tune.
SIMPLE KIND OF LIFE
This one is one of the slower tracks on the album. It has a nice flow to it and Gwen's voice sounds sweeter and more girly than on some other tracks. The lyrics are about wanting a more normal, simple, settled life than what she has now.
My favorite track on the album, and one of my favorite tunes ever. This track starts off quite slow and you may think it's going to be a ballad, then it speeds up and Gwens voice goes from girly to rock chick. She is singing about a new relationship, and most people can relate to the lyrics. I love the pace, lyrics and voice on this one.
Out of all the tracks on the album, I only skip two tracks - not bad for an album with 14 tracks.
Overall, I would definatley reccommend this album to you. Some people may say it is a bit girly as she does seem to be singing about relationships or break ups in a lot of the tracks, however I think anyone could enjoy a listen.
Gwen's voice is superb and very versatile, sounding great singing sweetly as well as her usual rocky style.
The songwriting is fantastic, and a lot of people could relate to the lyrics on some of these songs.
This is definatly an album that I will be keeping in my collection from now on.
Gwen Stefani was not motivated to write the Return of Saturn album by her breakup with the Bush singer (now her husband), but her breakup with longtime boyfriend Tony Kanal of No Doubt.
After a well deserved break, No Doubt Returned with their forth album entitled Return Of Saturn, although a strange title, this album is once again crammed with hits! This was the second album of No Doubts that I bought which included the great come-back single "New" which is a great fast dance type rock track which is still one of my all time faves! Follow-ups to the return single failed to impress or make it into the top 10. Other releases included Simple Kind Of Life and Marry Me both good tracks but not in my view the best off this album. Tracks that Impress me especially are Bathwater a boppy little number and a classic in my view, Six feet Under with great Drumming from the band member Adrian Young. Suspension is another great with a spingy sound at the beginning which seems really strange in sounding. Gwen sings quite a few songs on this album with a less rough voice which is a good contrast giving a more mellower sound. All tracks once more have their own contribution to make to this superb. This album contains a bonus track called Big Distraction which is also good and is an added bonus. This album although went rather un-noticed in the charts, heralds a return for the band which hopefully will keep on churning out pure tracks like this again. Lets hope for a new album soon! This finally completes my opinions on all four albums by No Doubt! I hope I have done them justice. They are fantastic with sublime and thought provoking lyrics, they can't do no wrong! READ THIS! If you have the album or I have Persuaded you to get this one, Leave the CD play after the bonus track (15) and you will discover another Bonus Track! Yes Another bonus track which is an instrumental track (a contrasting classically sounding track) finishing off the album perfectly!
~ The Band ~ started in December 1986, in Anaheim, California +Gwen Stefani, 31, lead singer, South California +Tony Kanal, bassist, 30, London +Tom Dumont, 33, guitarist, Los Angeles +Adrian Young, 31, drummer, California ~ The Album ~ the general feel ~ This album has been criticised for consisting almost entirely of tearful / angry laments on love and men, a direct result of Gwen's break up with the Bush singer. I admit that this may well be where she got inspiration for some of the songs, like "Ex-Girlfriend", but I disagree entirely with the view that this makes for an album which is difficult to listen to and is not enjoyable. The album exudes girl power and strength, even though most of it implies anger and hurt. The songs help you wallow in your grief without making you depressed, instead giving you hope and resilience...or do I read too much into what I listen to? ~ The Title ~ Return of Saturn ~ "Saturn return" is a three year period which occurs every 28 years when Saturn returns to its original position in the natal chart. When you experience "Saturn return", you generally feel that you gain a lot of knowledge about your life - lots of self analysis is done and supposedly you end up making many changes in your life. This works perfectly as a title for the album, as a lot of the songs deal with trying to find yourself. ~ The Songs Here's the low-down on every track: 1. Ex-Girlfriend 3:33 This song is quite typically rocky and starts the album off with lots of energy and an equal amount of bitterness, setting the tone for the album. Gwen makes the most of her strong but extremely girly voice, singing in both low and high octaves. The song is about something we all experience at some point or another - becoming someone's ex, just one of the people they dated. This quote says it all: "It’s going to kill me to see you w
ith the next girl // ‘Cause I’m the most gorgeously jealous kind of ex-girl" 2. Simple Kind of Life 4:17 The beginning of this song sounds as if it's going to be a melancholy country song. Very pleasant to listen to, this song is actually about a relationship gone wrong, and Gwen expresses perfectly the sort of emotions you feel when it all goes wrong - "If we met tomorrow for the very first time // Would it start all over again? // Would I try to make you mine?" 3. Bathwater 4:04 This song describes the confounding age-old phenomenon of women who go for men that are bad for them. It's about trying to make a commitment-phobe settle down - "So why do we choose the boys that are naughty? // I don't fit in so why do you want me? // And I know I can't tame you…but I just keep trying" 4. Six Feet Under 2:29 This is a very fast-tempo song with a pumping beat, and it's about how you live your life, repeating the same actions every day, every year, until you get "buried six feet under ground". Gwen sings in disbelief about the futility of existence and asks timeless unanswerable questions: "Where was I before? // Non-existent? // Not at all? // Will I ever know?" 5. Magic's in the Makeup 4:22 This slow, contemplative song does indeed sound magical, with sound effects that conjure up images of fairies and magic wands. The song is about putting up a front, and not being able to accept and show everyone what you're really like underneath: "Can you tell I'm faking it? // But I want to be myself." 6. Artificial Sweetener 3:56 This song is my favourite on the album, and it's probably the band's favourite too as it contains the lyric "return of Saturn" - the name of the album. The tune is soulful, and the lyrics describe having to fake being in love with someone when you just can't f
ind the real emotion in your heart - "You really deserve love // I want to love you // But I can't seem to find myself" 7. Marry Me 4:28 This is the one song on the album which I really don't like - it's whiny and annoying, and Gwen sounds like she is moaning at someone to marry her. If you do look closer at the lyrics though, you will find that she is actually singing about her indecision and the fact that she no longer wants marriage - "Take me back, take me back into history // Diamond ring, tie me down just like it used to be" 8. New 4:27 This is a brilliant song which describes the all-consuming excitement of being with someone new at the beginning of a relationship. The heady thrill Gwen sing about is mirrored perfectly by the urgent pace of the song, and the following describes perfectly how one feels at the start of a new romance: "Why am I so curious? // This territory is dangerous // I'll probably end up at the start // I'll be back in line with my broken heart" 9. Too Late 4:16 This sad song is about the end of a relationship, when nothing can be done to mend the rift between the two lovers. The song describes how sometimes you may stifle your lover in trying to preserve the love that is between you. This song is sung with a defeatist attitude, and the crashing cymbals highlight the lyrics - "And there really isn't hope for the two of us // But right now I give in.". 10. Comforting Lie 2:54 This is about not being able to hold in your feelings and finally cracking and bursting with emotion - "Hold it, hold it all in // Let it build up // Oh, build a bomb // Blow it, blow it away // Clear it all out // Just end it." The song ends quietly, on a downer, which is what you feel like after a major emotional outburst. 11. Suspension Without Suspense 4:12 This is another song about a relationship not working out. It's
about how you can keep trying, but in the end if there is no real substance to the relationship it will fall apart. The song is a bit whiny - "But I don't want the love we have to end..." - but this is all just to add to the mood of despair. 12. Staring Problem 2:46 This is a much lighter song, and it comes as a pleasant interlude after so many depressing songs of doomed relationships! This is about something we all, I am sure, experience - jealousy. It's about how you find yourself staring at someone of your own sex and thinking you wished you were like them, while at the same time attempting to find fault with them to make yourself feel better: "With my envy I steal glances // Resentful fault finder // This peek-a-boo's become a problem // Predisposed cat fighter." 13. Home Now 4:36 In this song Gwen is once again moaning, this time she is imagining what it would be like to live with someone, to see them so much that you actually take them for granted. This is about making sacrifices for a relationship - "So what you givin' up for me? // And what shall I give up for you?" 14. Dark Blue 4:37 This is a song about listening to your friends and helping them talk through bad things that have happened to them in the past, before you knew them. Gwen describes how this is difficult as you feel guilty for having had a sheltered life - "And it's too bad you're so sad // I wish you could have had what I had " - and don't really know how to make things better as you can't undo the past. 15.Big Distraction - bonus track This song is a great finale to the album, as in parts it sounds a bit like a march, and the grand sounds help to make the ending of the album memorable (though there is still more to come, of course...) ...in the form of the: Too Late Instrumental - a calming piece of classical music, this is just the tune of Too Late expresse
d by string orchestra and piano solo. This is especially perfect if you want too listen to the album before falling to bed, as this track will definitely soothe you into a deep slumber. ~ The Album Cover ~ The front of the CD depicts a simple room with a large simple double bed. The background is blue, with the rings of Saturn drawn on as wallpaper. There is a telescope in the room, making it look like the room of a star-gazer. The members of the band are perching around the room, with one randomly jumping on the bed naked! The back of the CD is a fairly standard shot of the band performing, with Gwen mid-scream with bright pink clothes and hair. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ I hope you have enjoyed this rather lengthy analysis of an album which I have grown to really love. If you disagree (or agree!) with anything I've mentioned, please feel free to comment!
Disc #1 Tracklisting
2 Simple Kind Of Life
4 Six Feet Under
5 Magic's In The Makeup
6 Artificial Sweetener
7 Marry Me
9 Too Late
10 Comforting Lie
11 Suspension Without Suspense
12 Staring Problem
13 Home Now
14 Dark Blue
15 Big Distraction