Her return was perhaps the industry’s worst-kept-secret of the year but it doesn’t make Gwen Stefani‘s long-awaited solo return any less exciting.
Earlier today the first single from the No Doubt frontwoman’s upcoming third LP premiered online and it’s worth the wait.
Baby Don’t Lie was helmed by two of pop’s go-to men, Benny Blanco (“Diamonds“, “Teenage Dream“) and OneRepublic‘s Ryan “anthemic” Tedder (“XO“, “Bleeding Love“), and its evident upon first listen that it was built for radio.
Opening with breathy vocals and a bouncy beat similar to her previous work with Pharrell, you could easily be fooled into thinking that Gwen’s comeback track is going to be Hollaback Girl 2.0 but an abrupt change to reggae-tinged drum beats takes it into The XX territory, with the song playing out like a punchier version of Rihanna‘s Te Amo.
Although it may appear to be a safe – albeit generic – radio-friendly effort for an artist of Gwen’s repertoire, it’s actually a very good song and an understandable choice to re-introduce her to new listeners that may not be familiar with What You Waiting For and The Sweet Escape. Even if you don’t agree, it’s at least nice to hear her voice again – we sure needed it.
Welcome back! Listen to Baby Don’t Lie here.