No Doubt - New Song 2012 - "Settle Down"

B! A! N! A! N! A! S! The video to No Doubt's new single Settle Down is finally on YouTube. The intro shows the boys in the band driving a truck enroute to a rasta rave. They're wearing a bit more mascara in their middle age now but generally look happy to be back in business with Gwen.

The song is a fun chilled out party anthem, classic No Doubt, whiskey distillery guitars pinning down a high-pitched girly chorus, Gwen leaves her solo ego behind and re-acclimatises into the No Doubt whines and wiles that we originally fell in love with. Still, she brings the lessons of her solo project into the mix (hinted at perhaps by a Harajuku girl who peeps out from the back of the truck) - the video is confidently long, there are several dance routines and there are commercial deals too for lip gloss and plastic watches. The intro's strings are reminiscent of  Love Angel Music Baby's song Serious, and Gwen's thing for oriental strings is still alive and at large.

It's Gwen Stefani's lioness features and megawatchable body that holds the video together, not to mention her speaks-a-thousand-words eyeballs. I've always thought she could have been a killer silverscreen actress. (That second in the Cool video where her eyes somehow switch from pleased to pissed off without even doing anything?!)

Like her Los Angeles ex-pat pal Shirley Manson, who also has a new album out with her 90s mega group Grabage, it looks like the kids are gonna have to walk themselves to school - the mums are back in town and want to dance.

Without wanting to go into the inevitable Gaga debate, I will just say that No Doubt place music and melody over image and ego here, as if to show their disinterest in pop power games. We all know that Gaga learnt a few tricks off Gwen, or shall we say one Stefani learnt a few tricks of the original Stefani. Thing is, Gwen's got nothing to prove. She's a bonified rockstar with a family, and by the looks of things she just wants to dance her days out and cook up some cash along the way. Those Alice In Wonderland hedge mazes don't trim themselves.

I love the light-up rasta-colours drum kit in this video too.

Looking forward to the album.


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