Gwen Stefani, what's happened to you?

I considered putting this in the Pit, but figured this would be a better place.

Gwen Stefani was my idol growing up, back when she was in her No Doubt days. She was a fashion entrepeneur with a great voice who never took crap from anybody. She and her No Doubt bandmates wrote awesome songs with comprehensible lyrics (“Spiderwebs” and “Just a Girl” are a couple of my faves). I could relate to their poetry while bouncing around to their ska-like beat.

Then she started doing some solo side projects, and some of it was pretty good. I liked her collaboration"Let Me Blow Your Mind" with rapper Eve, and “Hella Good” is still one of my favorites for a good dance song.

Now she’s completely on her own, and I’ve been listening to her songs, and I wonder what happened to the woman I admired so much. Love Angel Music Baby is one of the worst albums I’ve heard in awhile, and the worst I’ve ever heard from her. Gwen seems to care more about shocking imagery these days than anything else. And the Japanese girls as an entourage? What the hell is up with that? Sure, Japan is cool, but Gwen, you don’t NEED extra people. You don’t need groupies, especially ones that (according to rumors) you have forbidden to speak.

Gwen, PLEASE ditch the Harajuku 4 and go back to No Doubt. Give us something worth listening to again.

I have no doubt that as soon as her label thinks that’s where the money is, she’ll be back.

Here’s a recent thread with all kinds of complaints about Gwen’s new musical direction and image: http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/showthread.php?t=314846

Are you sure? I think she sounds exactly the same. She’s doing some very annoying material these days and I hear less of it than I did of No Doubt, but I don’t hear any difference. It was always pretty annoying.

Obligatory Something Positive link.

Innocuous statements like this make me feel old. :frowning:

** Miller,** that comic was actually the spark to write my whine.

I was just too lazy to do it the day of.

Sorry I made you feel old, D_Odds. Remember, though: Only the good die young. :slight_smile:

Marley23, I have to say that I never found her voice annoying (although the way she keeps repeating lyrics in her latest songs comes close). I always thought her voice conveyed emotion very well, and had a pouty tone to it that made me think of a Mae West meets Shirley Temple kinda thing.
Could anybody help me find a cite for the rumor I mentioned, that her Japanese entourage is forbidden under contract to speak? I’ve looked for one but haven’t found one that I trust.

I can’t help you on that but aren’t those “Harajuku” girls who’ve been props in her latest videos only around 17 years old? If so, does it seem rather odd to anyone for a 35 year old woman to spend so much time hanging out with unrelated teenage girls? At the very least, it suggests a massive early-midlife crisis.

Oh well, I don’t know Gwen Stefani and I don’t have any of her CD’s so I’m probably thinking about this too much.

What happened to her is the same thing that happened to Rob Thomas. They got offered a buttload of cash to make a solo release.

Now we know why they were in bands in the first place.

Whatever the quality of her solo work, No Doubt’s one of the worst bands I’ve ever heard with multiple hits.

No, no, don’t get me wrong; they WROTE SOME GREAT SONGS. But as BANDS go, e.g. guys arranging those songs and then playing the instruments, you could have replaced them with a synthesizer.

Stefani doesn’t need No Doubt, she needs a good songwriter. Any good songwriter.

I thought Gwen said on Letterman that she was just doing the solo album while the band was taking a break.

I tried to search for the interview on Google:Video but apparently “Late Show” isn’t archived.

Did anyone else hear this?

Well I really liked her previous song, What You Waiting For, and I thought that it was indeed a smart /money-making/ pop-cultural move to embrace Japanese teen culture…in ONE song, but not in every damn song of hers… She seems to have gone slightly overboard in that sense in my opinion.