Q - 1/04, p.1353 stars out of 5
- "[T]he period from '96 to the present has thrown up some glorious pop moments."
No Doubt: Gwen Stefani (vocals); Tom Dumont (guitar, keyboards); Eric Stefani (piano, keyboards); Tony Kanal (keyboards, bass); Adrian Young (drums, percussion).
Additional Personnel includes: Lady Saw, Bounty Killer (vocals); Gabriel McNair (trombone, piano, keyboards); Stephen Bradley (trumpet, keyboards); Matthew Wilder (keyboards); Stuart Price, Sly Dunbar (programming).
Producers include: Glen Ballard, Nellee Hooper, Matthew Wilder, Sly & Robbie, Jerry Harrison.
Compilation producer: Cindy Cooper.
Includes liner notes by Paris Montoya and Tom Lanham.
Personnel: Gwen Stefani, Lady Saw (vocals); Tom Dumont (guitar, keyboards, programming); Melissa "Missy" Hasin (cello); Tony Kanal (saxophone, keyboards, bass guitar, programming); Andy Potts, Django Stewart, Eric Carpenter (saxophone); Don Hammerstedt, Phil Jordan , Stephen Bradley (trumpet); Gabrial McNair (trombone, piano, Mellotron, keyboards, synthesizer); Alex Henderson (trombone); Eric Stefani (piano, keyboards); Matthew Wilder (keyboards); Adrian Young (drums, percussion); Stephen Perkins (steel drum); Fabien Waltman, Philip Steir , Sly Dunbar, Stuart Price, Ned Douglas (programming).
Audio Mixers: Jack Joseph Puig; Mark "Spike" Stent; Paul Palmer.
Liner Note Authors: Paris Montoya; Tom Lanham.
Photographers: Sonya Farrell; Nicole Frantz; Stephanie Hsu; Frank Ockenfels; Chris Cuffaro; David LaChapelle; Jeffrey Bender; Dan Arsenault; F. Scott Schafer; Joseph Cultice.
No Doubt's strength has always been in its singles, from the band's early phase as a ska/punk-pop ensemble to their latter-day status as pop chart-toppers. This 15-song collection features all of the band's hits, which are sequenced remarkably well. Gwen Stefani and the boys kick things off in an appropriately energetic fashion with their breakthrough single, "Just a Girl." The 1980s-influenced keyboard line of this jaunty track leads wonderfully into the group's deft cover of Talk Talk's '80s-pop classic "It's My Life," which sports a muscular, fuzzed-out bass backing and seems tailor-made for Stefani's plaintive vocals.
The mood shifts to a dancehall vibe with the ultra-catchy "Hey Baby," and the track listing continues like a giddy roller coaster ride, including the spry "Sunday Morning," the reggae-tinged "Underneath It All," the guitar-heavy "Spiderwebs," and the melancholy "Don't Speak." And as a fitting nod to No Doubt's long-time fans, this sure-footed retrospective closes with the rhythmic workout of "Trapped in a Box" from their self-titled first album, bringing the band's musical legacy full circle.