today's edition of hart is half-assed mostly because of its topic, gwen stefani's solo effort, "love.angel.music.baby". everyone is blogging about it these days, so i'm basically just jumping on the bandwagon.
this album is likely the only one you'll ever hear that namedrops mario andretti alongside samples of martin luther king jr. and there's a reason for that: it's fucking weird. i'm still ruminating over it. i had initially been expecting (or rather hoping for) it to be somewhat brilliant. i was all ready to shell out my 10 bucks at best buy today when i listened to the record last night. i quickly rethought my plan. but upon subsequent listens, i decided that $10 minus my mcdonald's/best buy $1 coupon, might make the cd worth my while.
"love..." reveals a raunchier gwen who uses the word "shit" like it's about to be retired from the english language and who wants to get in on in cars ("tonight i'm gonna give you all my love in the back seat"). we also see more of her inner fashionista with lyrics that include shout-outs to vivienne westwood, john galliano and yohji yamamoto. and don't forget her own clothing line. the album's title bears its name and she mentions l.a.m.b. in the vaguely annoying song "crash" among others. not since jay-z's "all i need" have we seen such crass cross-promotion in music. "hollaback" is relatively grating as well and "the real thing" starts out like a good new order (because they guest on it) or kylie song, but turns into one of the oz lass' rejects when you reach the pukeworthy chorus. eve's guest spot on "rich girl" does nothing to clear up the confusion as to why stefani would want to align herself with fiddler on the roof's tevye and "long way to go", featuring andre 3000, is pretty much an outkast song.
this record's saviours are found in the reckless "bubble pop electric", the sheena easton/sheila e. relic, "serious" and the fast times at ridgemont high soundtrack-worthy number, "cool", not to mention the record's first single "what you waiting for". if there is any justice in this world and i think, at least for mrs. rossdale, there is, "cool" will be inescapable in the next few months. when gwen coos, probably to no doubt colleague and ex-boyfriend, tony kanal (who worked on the album with her), "i know we're cool," she proves pretty irresistible. so are many of "love..."'s tracks. if you're in for a bit of a ride, i recommend you pick it up (spending as little money as possible to do so, mind you).