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No Doubt, ‘Looking Hot’ – Song Review

'Push and Shove'
Interscope

Of course she’s looking hot — she’s Gwen Stefani! Well into her 40s, No Doubt‘s singer is more scorching than ever, but what about her band: How does No Doubt circa 2012 sound after a decade-long break from the studio? Judging by ‘Settle Down,’ the first single off their long-awaited comeback album, ‘Push and Shove,’ they sound just fine, thank you very much.

But despite the serious grooves of ‘Settle,’ the tune didn’t really catch on fire at radio, so they’re following that up with the disc’s second single, the aforementioned ‘Looking Hot.’ With ‘Push and Shove’ finally hitting stores Tuesday (Sept. 25), now is as good at time as any to double dip. But the thing is, ‘Looking Hot’ — with all of its hard-hitting, pre-programmed beats and sequenced synth parts — doesn’t really reveal much about No Doubt as band, because the track almost sounds like something off a Stefani solo album.

Which isn’t a bad thing, just a curious choice for a single. The exception, of course, is the slow-burning ska breakdown that kicks in halfway through the tune. “Running on empty but I have had plenty / You’re complimentary, but I’m just pretending,” Stefani sings over a gaggle of horns and reverb-drenched guitar.

Pretending or not, Stefani and her bandmates may have a club hit on their hands here. They should just leave this one off the set list next time they find themselves back on the stage of the Warped Tour.

Listen to No Doubt’s ‘Looking Hot’

http://youtu.be/xHIVh-NLesE

7 out of 10 diffuser.fm rating

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