All-Time Albums: #83


GWEN STEFANI Love. Angel. Music. Baby.

What You Waiting For? 3:41 (UK single, #4)
2 Rich Girl 3:56 (UK single, #4)
Hollaback Girl 3:19 (UK single, #8)
Cool 3:09 (UK single, #11)
5 Bubble Pop Electric 3:42
6 Luxurious 4:24 (UK single, #44)
7 Harajuku Girls 4:50
8 Crash 4:06
The Real Thing 4:09
10 Serious 4:46
11 Danger Zone 3:36
12 Long Way To Go 4:34
Who knew my favourite (pop) album of 2004 would be by the former frontwoman of No Doubt, a band I had never been more than mildly keen on? A few of their singles (Ex-Girlfriend, Hella Good) suggested a familiarity with what makes great power pop music, but L.A.M.B. still came as a huge shock. It was fantastic, fun and hugely popular.

Lead single What You Waiting For? was a breathless, pounding piss-take of herself and the demands to deliver new product, but the whole album is laced with brilliant hooks and a pristine production. There’s a bit of a Michael Jackson/Dangerous situation with the actual choices for singles here, I’d have gone with The Real Thing, Crash or Danger Zone over the pointless exotica of Luxurious or the R&Zzzz of Rich Girl, but these are minor gripes. Hollaback Girl was worth it for the “this shit is BANANAS!” refrain alone.

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