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No Doubt - Return Of Saturn

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Return Of Saturn

No Doubt

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Return of Saturn is an almost defiantly mature record about two things: Stefani's exploration of a troubled romance and her own romantic ideals, plus a serious attempt by the group to not only keep new wave alive, but to make that adolescent music relevant to an older audience. It's a high concept, but Return of Saturn is filled with satisfying contradictions. It's melodic, but deceptively complex; it can seem frothy, but it's never frivolous. No Doubt's desire to expand the emotional template of new wave is the perfect match for Stefani's themes -- she may be writing about love, but she's not writing adolescent love songs. Fragments of her teenaged romantic fantasies remain, but she's writing as a woman in her late 20s. She's tired of being another "ex-girlfriend" -- she wants to fall in love, get married, and have a family. It's a subject that's surprisingly uncommon in pop music, which would alone make Return of Saturn an interesting album. What makes it a successful one is that the band delivers an aural equivalent of Stefani's lyrical themes. They also begin with their adolescent musical ideals, adding depth and detail to their pop-ska foundation. They balance their non-ironic love of new wave with contemporary production and a sensibility borrowed from classic rock: that albums are greater than the sum of their parts. Surprisingly, they pull it off -- it's a far stronger record than Tragic Kingdom, even if the catchiest numbers don't have the same swagger and punch as their previous hit singles. So be it. With Return of Saturn, No Doubt have made a terrific, layered record that exceeds any expectations set by Tragic Kingdom. Not only have they found their voice, they know what to do with it.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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Return Of Saturn

No Doubt

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1
Ex-Girlfriend Album Version
00:03:31

Tony Kanal, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - Gabrial McNair, Piano, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Scott Campbell, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - SEAN BEAVAN, Unknown, Other - Bryan Carrigan, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - KARL DERFLER, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Dumont, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - GWEN STEFANI, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Adrian Young, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

2
Simple Kind Of Life Album Version
00:04:16

Tony Kanal, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Alain Johannes, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Gabrial McNair, Mellotron, AssociatedPerformer - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Scott Campbell, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryan Carrigan, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Dumont, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - GWEN STEFANI, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Adrian Young, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

3
Bathwater Album Version
00:04:02

Tony Kanal, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - Alain Johannes, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - Gabrial McNair, Piano, Trombone, Unknown, Other, AssociatedPerformer - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Scott Campbell, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - Bryan Carrigan, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Dumont, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - GWEN STEFANI, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Adrian Young, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer - Stephen Bradley, Trumpet, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

4
Six Feet Under Album Version
00:02:28

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

5
Magic's In The Makeup Album Version
00:04:21

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Ton Martin Dumont, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

6
Artificial Sweetener Album Version
00:03:54

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Ton Martin Dumont, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

7
Marry Me Album Version
00:04:37

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

8
New Album Version
00:04:26

Tony Kanal, Bass Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - Gabrial McNair, Synthesizer Programming, AssociatedPerformer - JERRY HARRISON, Producer - Scott Campbell, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - SEAN BEAVAN, Unknown, Other - Bryan Carrigan, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - KARL DERFLER, Recording Engineer, StudioPersonnel - Tom Dumont, Guitar, Keyboards, AssociatedPerformer - GWEN STEFANI, Vocals, AssociatedPerformer, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, Producer, MainArtist - Adrian Young, Drums, Percussion, AssociatedPerformer

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

9
Too Late Album Version
00:04:14

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Ton Martin Dumont, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

10
Comforting Lie Album Version
00:02:52

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

11
Suspension Without Suspense Album Version
00:04:10

GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

12
Staring Problem Album Version
00:02:43

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - Eric Stefani, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Ton Martin Dumont, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

13
Home Now Album Version
00:04:34

Tony Kanal, ComposerLyricist - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

14
Dark Blue Album Version
00:04:35

Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - GLEN BALLARD, Producer - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist - Ton Martin Dumont, ComposerLyricist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

15
Big Distraction
00:09:29

Matthew Wilder, Producer - Thomas Dumont, ComposerLyricist - Jack Joseph Puig, Mixer, StudioPersonnel - GWEN STEFANI, ComposerLyricist - No Doubt, MainArtist

℗ 2000 Interscope Geffen (A&M) Records A Division of UMG Recordings Inc.

Album Description

Return of Saturn is an almost defiantly mature record about two things: Stefani's exploration of a troubled romance and her own romantic ideals, plus a serious attempt by the group to not only keep new wave alive, but to make that adolescent music relevant to an older audience. It's a high concept, but Return of Saturn is filled with satisfying contradictions. It's melodic, but deceptively complex; it can seem frothy, but it's never frivolous. No Doubt's desire to expand the emotional template of new wave is the perfect match for Stefani's themes -- she may be writing about love, but she's not writing adolescent love songs. Fragments of her teenaged romantic fantasies remain, but she's writing as a woman in her late 20s. She's tired of being another "ex-girlfriend" -- she wants to fall in love, get married, and have a family. It's a subject that's surprisingly uncommon in pop music, which would alone make Return of Saturn an interesting album. What makes it a successful one is that the band delivers an aural equivalent of Stefani's lyrical themes. They also begin with their adolescent musical ideals, adding depth and detail to their pop-ska foundation. They balance their non-ironic love of new wave with contemporary production and a sensibility borrowed from classic rock: that albums are greater than the sum of their parts. Surprisingly, they pull it off -- it's a far stronger record than Tragic Kingdom, even if the catchiest numbers don't have the same swagger and punch as their previous hit singles. So be it. With Return of Saturn, No Doubt have made a terrific, layered record that exceeds any expectations set by Tragic Kingdom. Not only have they found their voice, they know what to do with it.
© Stephen Thomas Erlewine /TiVo

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