Since September 2010, this blog has recorded the journey of this middle-aged man as I attempt to listen to all the music in my CD collection. CDs revisited in their entirety from start to finish - no skipping tracks, no shuffle. CDs only - no vinyl, no tapes, no downloads. And just as CD technology (and the album format itself) becomes obsolete. I'm no music critic, just a music junkie with too much time on my hands.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

No Doubt - Rock Steady (2001)

A fan o' the blog recently sent me this CD.  I've never heard a No Doubt album before, so away we go:

He likes it!  Hey, Mikey! There's enough variety here to hold my interest, probably because the group was smart enough to collaborate with Prince, the Neptunes, Sly & Robbie, Rik Ocasek, Dave Stewart, and some other famous names that I should recognize but don't.  As a result, there's all sorts of influences from dance, to New Wave, to dancehall, to electrorock.  We are even treated to some toasting on Hella Good. Allmusic called it a "good, hooky, stylish mainstream pop record" and, after an initial listening, I think that's an accurate description.  Now I'm taking it to my truck (The Vanilla Thrilla) for a road test, anticipating good results.

Rolling Stone ranked this album #316 on its 2003 list of The 500 Greatest Albums of All Time, but didn't make subsequent revisions of the list.  Hey Baby won the Grammy Award for Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group with Vocal in 2003, then Underneath It All won the same award the following year.

Peak on the US Billboard Top 200 chart: #9

Tracks:  Of course, I'm drawn to the New Wavish tracks (in which Ocasek flashes back to 1978) and the four singles (which I immediately recognized when I heard them, I just never knew their titles).  The Prince collaboration, Waiting Room, throws some drum-and-bass tricks at us, but otherwise sounds like a Prince track, opting not to flash back and sounding pretty good, especially at the chorus. The only tracks I wanted to skip are Detective and Running.

A product of its time, this is an Enhanced CD, with bonus content: Hey Baby video, Rock Steady screensaver, and "The Making of Rock Steady" documentary. I watched the two videos (they're probably available on YouTube), but I did not install the screensaver.

Personal Memory Associated with this CD: None

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