Gwen Stefani “Comeback” Proves Less than Stellar



Gwen stands in a fierce pose, reminiscent of Katniss Everdeen from “the Hunger Games,” in a promotional image for her new single “Baby Don’t Lie.” She is wearing a black unitard and is shrouded in a feathered shawl, invoking images of a bird taking flight.

Rayne Crivelli, Staff Writer

In conjunction with her first season as a judge on The Voice, Gwen Stefani is scheduled to release her third studio album (her first solo album since Sweet Escape, which debuted over six years ago). “Baby Don’t Lie” is her first single off of the still unnamed album and it leaves a bit to be desired.

The music video begins in black and white, reminiscent of Madonna’s “Vogue,” but Stefani is abruptly whisked away by a tornado made of binary code and is transported into the technical age. She follows the “yellow brick road” down the pleated path of bright colors and geometric patterns. In some ways, the video is going against the recent tendency in music videos to have a strange storyline that is meant to turn heads, but instead throws us back towards the older days where bright colors and back-up dancers were enough to provide a perfect music video.

The song is a piece of traditional pop fare, with a synth beat similar to the style Ellie Goulding popularized with her single “Lights.” It begins with a traditional “uh-huh” from Stefani, opening up to the beginning of the song. It has a strong drum beat, and mixed with Stefani’s unusual singing voice, it could easily be mistaken for a Shakira piece. Occasionally, the lyrics leave something to be desired, but overall the song is well produced.

Undeniably, the bridge is the best part of the song, because Stefani’s personality shines through and the music video provides her with a quirky dance segment. The rest suffers from “Repeat Stuff” syndrome, named after Bo Burnham’s parody song. This is the tendency pop music has to repeat phrases several times to create a chorus, in this case, the phrase is “baby, don’t lie.”

Is “Baby Don’t Lie” a bad song? No. Is it an appropriate choice for her first single since 2008? No. Fans much would have preferred a more dynamic choice for the first single, as this does not leave many with the sense that she has made a total comeback. Diehard fans will find themselves singing along to “Sweet Escape” or “Wind it Up” before “Baby Don’t Lie”, but it sets a hopeful tone for her next releases.