(Rolling Stone) -- No Doubt aren't just 11 years older than they were when they released their last LP. They're determined to be wiser.
"Push and Shove" leans toward synthpop-flavored ballads with grown-up themes: relationship struggles, the rewards of long-term romance.
The songs are catchy, but Gwen Stefani doesn't have the voice, or the gravitas, for grandiose tunes. And do we really want a "mature" No Doubt record, anyway?
The band sounds more at home on the title track, a ska/dub fusion where Stefani rhymes "La-la-la-la vida loca/We speeding it up like soca."
That's the No Doubt we love: hopped-up ambassadors from a fairy-tale SoCal where la vida is, eternally, loca.
Copyright © 2011 Rolling Stone.