No Doubt
Rock Steady
Universal

Since when does Gwen Stefani think that she’s a sistah, and since when did a primarily ska band forget the real instruments and break out the keyboards? Either someone has completely forgotten their roots, or is in drastic fear of being dropped for sucking. A complete departure from anything remotely No Doubt, Rock Steady blends “Billie Jean”-esque guitars with synthesizers, harmonized beats and hip-hop backing vocals. Songs are about dancing and other crap, but then again this band never really were about intelligent lyrics anyway. Now maybe they’ll be written off as the one-hit wonders they were back in ’95 and we can forget them entirely.

Mike Knight

Lenny Kravitz
Lenny
Virgin

Yeah, Lenny Kravitz has been a guilty pleasure of mine for a few years now. I don’t know why, but his derivative 70s-influenced riffs are appealing and kinda funky. Sure, he’s about as cool as Martin Short these days, but he does know how to use expansive melodies and sweet harmonies that are total ear candy. On his sixth album, everything has been done before and he’s selling off name alone, but the big sound is still there, the panty-wetting soulful slow songs are there and almost hot if he weren’t so fucking cocky! I reward him halfway for keeping what he knows alive, somewhat interesting, and for having the balls (although it was through duty!) to shave those finely pruned dreads off, thereby Samsoning himself into lameness.

Rating: VVV
Julie Swarren

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