Thursday, February 18, 2010

CD of the Day: ‘Tragic Kingdom,’ No Doubt (1995)

We all knew it, even back then: Gwen Stefani’s star was born with this breakthrough album. And though she’s gone on to commit pop diva sins, those don’t diminish what a firecracker of an album “Tragic Kingdom” remains.

Of course there is the power trio of hits: “Spiderwebs” is spectacular; “Just A Girl” is pop/rock genius; and what guy didn’t fall in love with Stefani after seeing the “Don’t Speak” video? There’s plenty more to this hooky, frolicking album, though, from a group that helped make ska popular with the masses for a few years. “Hey You,” “Excuse Me Mr.,” and “Happy Now?” are particular favorites.

The album suffers a bit after “Don’t Speak” in the 10 slot, but I am surprised to find “Tragic Kingdom” still holds up overall, even 15 years later (I am so old).

Grade: B+

Favorite Track: “Spiderwebs”

Least Favorite Track: “The Climb”

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