No Doubt
Tragic Kingdom


4.0
excellent

Review

by Aaron Arneson CONTRIBUTOR (109 Reviews)
October 16th, 2012 | 188 replies


Release Date: 1995 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What happened to you Gwen?

When No Doubt announced they were going to release their first album this year since Rock Steady back in 2001, I had a glimpse of hope. Could the band possibly be returning to their energetic alternative rock sound that worked so well for them in the 90’s? Unfortunately, I found the harsh answer to my question in the form of their latest effort Push and Shove. The album was all the proof I needed that No Doubt will never be the band they used to be and I should just accept it. However, that doesn’t mean I can’t still guiltlessly enjoy their upbeat and nostalgic first few albums. Say what you will about the new No Doubt, but Tragic Kingdom remains one of the best alternative rock albums of the 90’s. It sounds just as great today as it did nearly 20 years ago.

Chances are, if you grew up in the 90’s you’ve probably heard some No Doubt tunes. Songs like ‘Spiderwebs’ and ‘Don’t Speak’ were radio station favorites; one showing off their upbeat alternative/ska attitude and the other displaying the amazing singing voice of Gwen Stefani. If you ask me, ‘Spiderwebs’ could very well be the best song of the band’s entire career. The whole song is full of energy and it’s overflowing with trumpets, but it also contains the catchiest hooks on the album.

I’m sorry I’m not home right now, I’m walking into spiderwebs, so leave a message and I’ll call you back!!

Although there is some filler to be found throughout the fourteen tracks, it doesn’t keep Tragic Kingdom from being one of the most memorable albums of the 90’s. Songs like ‘Just a Girl’ or ‘Sixteen’ proved to be just as catchy as their first two singles. One of the main reasons these songs were so enjoyable was undoubtedly, Gwen Stefani herself. She’s always had a unique voice and it adds a great deal of character to all the songs. One might even say her singing has a jazz like feel to it. Whatever you call it, it’s a captivating sound that helped make Tragic Kingdom such a fantastic album.

While most alternative rock of the 90’s relied heavily on guitars, No Doubt stood out with their blaring trumpets and saxophones. They still had their upbeat guitars, but the additional instruments really made them stand out at the time. In fact, No Doubt actually inspired many ska bands. This is likely due to the success of Tragic Kingdom as well as their first two albums also taking on an upbeat ska sound. It really doesn’t surprise me that other band’s found inspiration in their sound. Before evolving into the radio friendly pop band they are today they were an original and even groundbreaking band.

For those who wish to enjoy No Doubt’s latest release, all the power to them, but when I look back on their breakthrough album Tragic Kingdom and compare it to their newest pile of rubbish, all I can think is…what happened to you Gwen?



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user ratings (419)
Chart.
3.8
excellent
other reviews of this album
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Comments:Add a Comment 
Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Couldn't believe there was only one review for this.

Digging: Spectral Lore - III

KILL
October 15th 2012


71795 Comments


poopy band!!!!!!!!

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

lol they didn't used to be!!

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


50415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

This is a 5 for my mom!

Digging: Viper the Rapper - You'll Cowards Don't Even Smoke Crack

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

2.5?! Come on man this was good stuff before they sold out.

tommygun
October 15th 2012


24951 Comments


Great album great review, have a pos! You forgot to put the D in Kingdom in the last paragraph though

Digging: Broods - Evergreen

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


50415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I haven't heard it in like 5 years so idk

KILL
October 15th 2012


71795 Comments


they ruined the talk talk song rip

YoYoMancuso
October 15th 2012


11085 Comments


good review, pos'd

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks pal.

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


16023 Comments


damn more pop punk, good review as always, pos

Digging: iamthemorning - Belighted

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

I really, really like this album

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


9034 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Oops, my rating betrays me

KILL
October 15th 2012


71795 Comments


well you 4.5'd it so it must be

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Lol this is alternative rock with ska influences not pop punk

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


16023 Comments


the amount of orangeness in the pie chart is how much of a nob you are (but i like atari so he's exempt)

menawati
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


16023 Comments


oh i dunno sput listed it as pop punk who am i to argue

Trebor.
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


50415 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

"What happened to you Gwen?"

$$$$$$$$$

Atari
Contributing Reviewer
October 15th 2012


19759 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Haha thanks glad u guys like the summary

theacademy
Staff Reviewer
October 15th 2012


28532 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

pointless review that i disagree with because

a) tragic kingdom is one of my favorite albums of all time
b) push and shove isn't actually that bad
c) what does this review actually say i mean seriously why did you write this instead of sounding off lol

Digging: Chris Brown - X



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