No Doubt

No Doubt’s new album Rock Steady, its follow-up to Return of Saturn, is a little on the schizoid side. With so many producers at work here—including Nellee Hooper, Sly Dunbar & Robbie Shakespeare, Ric Ocasek and Prince—there are too many hands in the kitchen. The band seems to work best with Sly & Robbie on “Hey Baby,” a reggae-ska-flavored dance number, and also with Nellee Hooper on “Hella Good,” which rides on a cool beat with an evil guitar. “Making Out,” produced by William Orbit, is sexy and spacey; it’s reminiscent of ’80s band Berlin. “Don’t Let Me Down,” produced by Ocasek, sounds like an old Cars song. Ditto with the Prince-produced “Waiting Room,” which sounds like Prince at his most pretentious. The band should have stuck with Hooper and Sly and Robbie for a perfect reggae-punk sound. But Gwen Stefani’s vocals are great. Maybe next time, she should just work with Moby.