''Hollaback Girl,'' Gwen Stefani
I absolutely loved the last No Doubt album, Rock Steady. I thought its producers especially reggae masters Sly & Robbie, the team behind the gizzorgeous ''Underneath It All'' brought out the best in a band that, frankly, had only put out one song I ever truly liked (that would be ''Spiderwebs''). So when I first started hearing details about Gwen's album, namely that it was experimental and also would feature knob-twiddling by some top-notch folks (the Neptunes, Andre 3000, etc.), I dared to get excited.
First letdown: the exceedingly stupid title. (Love. Angel. Music. Baby. was this music or a commercial for her clothing line?) Second letdown: Gwen started showing up everywhere with the ''harajuku girls,'' her mute Japanese sidekicks, who seemed more like fetish objects than real people. (Seriously, isn't that just a little bit questionable?) And then: this song. Oh, this song! The marching-band thing is sooo tired... plus, um, what is she talking about? Why is her totally lame rapping acceptable? And why oh God, why did this song have to go and spawn more annoying crap just like it (yes, I'm talking about you, Fergie)?
Sorry, Gwen. I do not buy that this is your ''s---.'' And the whole ''bananas'' thing? I-D-I-O-T-I-C. Dawnie Walton, senior editor
Image Credit: Gwen Stefani: Lorenzo Agius
Staffers confess: The popular music I just don't get. At the risk of public scorn, we're admitting the beloved artists, songs, and albums we don't really like. Won't you do the same?