I've had a very special spot in my heart for Gwen Stefani the majority of my life. She was definitely my big childhood love (I had the biggest crush on her as a kid) and as I got older, her music was very nostalgic and comfortable to me. I still listen to No Doubt pretty frequently, even though I tend to feel like I've outgrown them to a degree.
I can't say the exact same thing for Gwen's solo career. I still think she's one of the most formidable (and legendary) women in pop, but suffice to say, musically her ship has sailed for me. "This Is What the Truth Feels Like" (her last solo pop album, we do not speak of the Christmas album in these parts) had some really stellar moments, but overall was not on the same level as her debut, which is a pretty decent pop album. (Sans, of course, the weird fetishization of the Harajuku girls ... even high school me was like what is happening here?) "The Sweet Escape," too, was pretty muddied - but its strong moments were indeed strong. And "Baby Don't Lie" was terrible - I was happy to see she ended up canning that.
Word broke last week Gwen was releasing a new single, "Let Me Reintroduce Myself" (it took me several attempts to realize that *was* the single's actual title). Tomorrow at 9 AM PST, we will all know what this song sounds like. I am slightly excited, somewhat horrified, with pretty low-to-the-damn-ground expectations. I don't think it's going to be that good, I am sad to say, although if she shocks me with some amazing pop spectacle I will gladly eat my words. I mean, Dua Lipa had Gwen on her remix album of "Future Nostalgia," WHO KNOWS WHAT COULD HAPPEN. Maybe Dua had an intervention with her?
This all being said, I still think Gwen seems to be a total sweetheart, so I don't want to speak too much ill of her. I just wish sometimes she made better choices, which I'm sure someone is reading this and thinking "I think that EXACT same thing about you, Britt."
There are some really standout nuggets in Gwen's canon, and in this post, I will celebrate those moments. We will ignore the rest.