♚ No Doubt Discography Rate (#15 - Just a gag) ♚

What is your favourite studio album by No Doubt?

  • No Doubt (1992)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • The Beacon Street Collection (1995)

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • Tragic Kingdom (1995)

    Votes: 16 22.9%
  • Return of Saturn (2000)

    Votes: 21 30.0%
  • Rock Steady (2001)

    Votes: 26 37.1%
  • Push and Shove (2012)

    Votes: 7 10.0%

  • Total voters
It's been so long since we last saw this album...
(and it's not only because of my flop hosting fff)

Steady now, stop rocking it
It's a delicate environment...



Rock Steady

Average score: 7.854

Highest score: 10 x 3 (@bonnieetclyde, @Babylon, @Music Is Death)
Lowest score: 5 x 1 (@DJHazey)
My score: 8

High peak: #34 (27 voters)
Low peak: #55 (11 voters)

And the first title track falls, now leaving two left. "Rock Steady" finally becomes the album's third cut (excluding "New Friend" which is from that section/era but not on the album), after 27 eliminations, when "Waiting Room" got eliminated. Pretty sure that's the biggest gap between two eliminated songs from the same album in the entire rate. The song obviously wasn't really divisive, but it got a little bunch of 6s and a whole lot of 8+ scores, too. It had a bit of a bumpy ride at the start, when it wasn't even in the top 50, but slowly made it there and later got a top 40 placement, actually finishing at its high peak position. but Also, @Music Is Death loses his fourth 10 in a row... ouch.

"Rock Steady" was written by Gwen Stefani and Tony Kanal, with production being done by the band alongside Nellee Hooper. It was released as the closing track of its eponymous album, also happens to be the longest song on the album, while its chorus was used as the album's 30-second intro. The track was among many that was written while No Doubt was in Jamaica and Gwen further elaborated on why they chose it as the album's title: "It sums up where we're at. We're really having fun with each other. To be into it this far and have such a commitment to each other is really rewarding. I'm in a good mood about my personal life, too. I think the track reflects having something a little more solid, a little more real." The song had a lot of live performances, mostly during the Rock Steady Tour and Summer Tour in 2009 (pretty much all of the shows on these tours), making it one of their most performed non-singles. There are also two remixes of the song, one featuring Ms. Dynamite and the other Sweetie Irie, both of which got released on "Everything in Time" compilation album - these already got their spotlight here but I'll link them below anyway.

I must say that "Rock Steady" has always been a weird one for me. I don't even know why but I always have an impression like it's not even a song by the band, which might be skewed by it being the title track and somehow it feels like a song that doesn't exist to me, if that makes any sense at all dd. Anyway, this track is a really good slice of dub music that efficiently utilizes some modern elements. I guess the chorus feels a bit too on-the-nose compared to what a great and rather interesting melody of the verses might suggest, but then again it's hella good catchy too. You also have the production, which is so excellently done throughout, featuring plenty of electronic bleeps and bloops, swirls, vocalizations, percussions, burbling bassline and nearly everything in between - it's a blend of a myriad of different sounds yet it totally works. It really feels like a chill journey and paints a nice image. Gwen shines vocally, I really enjoy the ad-libs during the intro and the sly the delivery of the verses. Theme of the songs appears to be "Love is like a punishment/ Homegirl here to represent" is such a striking opening couplet and I love how the seemingly devoid of hope lyrics completely take a turn to the optimistic punch line of that chorus, which is repeated as some sort of mantra. Just one of the numerous moments which highlight the genius songwriting of the band.
All in all, "Rock Steady" quietly exists but is clearly a very nicely done 'jam song' offering and serves as a great album closer. I would rank it right in the middle of their discography, so this placement feels about right.

Before we get to the commentary about the actual song, @Sprockrooster (8) wants to discuss something else: "Let me use the title track to state how damn fugly the cover art for this album is. If you said it was a place holder I would have believed you to. I am in desperate need when this gets re-released to get a better cover too. Yes, the concept is cute, but in the corner or something from the actual cover." Hm, it does have a 'promo disc' vibe to it I still think it's a pretty bold and iconic choice which inspired a number of future album covers, so I'm afraid the majority disagrees.
Now onto the and everyone seems to be a fan of it. Among the highest scorers, @bonnieetclyde (10) is obviously praising the song: "Yummy and gorgeous. I love everything about this - lyrics, vocals and production. All brilliant." While we're at the 'yummy' theme, @Angeleyes (9) says: "So, so sweet, and I love the bass line so much." and @berserkboi (9.5) is hooked on the hook: "Love the addictive beat taking this into earworm that won’t leave your head territory!" Finally, @clowezra (9.5) considers it a: "Beautiful closer to the album" and continues to say: "used to smoke a ton of weed to this back in the day dddd" Probably what the band did while making the entire album, so you're reflecting the vibe... a rock steady vibe, to be precise.

"A real love survives
A rock steady vibe..."

Next up: The final song of its sort and a rather impressive accolade at that.
You can definitely hear the Caribbean vibe for sure, from the trip to Jamaica that apparently accompanied it. The bass is good, but the beeps and boops aren't. The verses are like a slowed down and less interesting version of Underneath It All. A 5 was apt.
Well. I am glad to see to see the show is on the road again here.
The lack of reactions to "Rock Steady", maybe my comment about the song being 'non-existent' is true in a way dd.
I guess this is what set me off to open PJ again since a week, cause NO! Non-existent is not a way to describe this titular track. I quite like it. That said I am not that angry it did not make the top 30, cause I am not sure it would make it in my ranking.
So... what if I told you that we still have a song that hasn't received any 10s?
That's right.

The world keeps on getting
Smaller and smaller...



Full Circle

Average score: 7.887

Highest scores: 9.5 x 1 (@Music Is Death), 9 x 5 (@Maki, @Sprockrooster, @Music City Queen, @Maria, @SlowGinFizzzz)
Lowest score: 5.75 x 1 (@Remorque)
My score: 9

High peak: #21 (7 voters)
Low peak: #37 (15 voters)

Now here's a surprising result. Out of 27 voters, no one thought "Full Circle" was worthy of a perfect score yet, here it is, nearly in the top 30. To put things into perspective, the last time we had a song without any perfect scores (10s nor 11s) was way back at #56, when "Cellophane Boy", another B-side from this era, got cut. Truly a little song that could. It only received seven scores below 8, which surely helped it go this far - at one point, it was even close to reaching top 20 but then the lack of perfect scores made it drop lower. Also, this now leaves "You're So Foxy" as the winning song from "Everything in Time" album and also the winner of No Doubt rarities in general. Now how long will that one last? Will it even make the top 30? We'll find out eventually.

"Full Circle" was written by Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal and Tom Dumont, while Glen Ballard did the production. It was first released as a B-side to "Ex-Girlfriend" single, before appearing as the Japanese bonus track on "Return of Saturn", then again showed up among the B-sides for some editions of "Simple Kind of Life" single and finally being released on "Everything in Time" compilation album in 2003. But that's not all - this track was also released free with purchase of "Return of Saturn" at Circuit City record store. A whole lot of releases there... The song got one and only live performance during the Return of Saturn Tour (maybe it was one of that 'fans pick a deep cut' thingy), which occurred during June 2000 in Cleveland, Ohio - unfortunately we have no video nor audio footage of that.

It seems like "Full Circle" is one of those songs that doesn't hit until the chorus kicks in. There's this intro which sound a bit odd with those 'pinball machine' sounds which extends to the verse that doesn't really let you know where it's going to lead you to. And then, whoosh - the chorus arrives and presents an excellent melodic rush with some punk undertones, it's such a blast. I also really enjoy the vocalizations during the middle-8 and the random high-pitched ooh synths are a very nice quirky addition to the otherwise repetitive drum loop. Lyric-wise, this song is nothing poignant but it surely plays a big role in the song's charm and is clearly inspired by Gwen's personal life (in this case the coincidences that kept piling up), like everything during the "Return of Saturn" era. We have a direct Adrian namecheck, "And you come from England / My ex-boyfriend, he is Indian" presenting Gwen's lovers Gavin and Tony, and the general fun yet the 'conundrum of the mind' theme that ties it all together. Really proves how even the seemingly mindless subject matter of this era is presented in such a witty way.
I think it could've easily replaced a few of the songs on the standard album, especially "Six Feet Under" which kinda has a similar 'overthinking' vibe going on thematically. There really isn't much else to say about the song, it's a bop and if you get it you get it. Glad that it proved to be a little underdog here.

The lack of commentary for this one seems fitting. At least we have both sides presented, with @berserkboi (6) uttering: "Eh, not loving this very much!" Well I hope you relisten to the song and it proved to be a grower. And the much more positive commentary comes from @Sprockrooster (9), who questions: "How does Japan often gets such great bonus-tracks? I mean was it too much to ask to throw Staring Problem their way? Also, I love how this lyrically continues on Ex-Girlfriend and was a b-side to that single too." And I love to see my back up host certifying his stan card with all these facts.

"Six degrees of separation
We all know someone else
It all comes full circle..."

Next up: Some criminal behaviour detected, as your host loses three perfect scores in a row. First up is another two-word title song.
Sorry, I got caught up in the song contests and other rates, so there won't be an elimination tonight. I'll make up for it again during the weekend.

And I think this is the moment when we've reached songs that have at least one proper stan (maybe with an exception or two) so it should get more exciting/frustrating from now on. The next song to leave isn't from the "Everything in Time" album, which basically means that only "You're So Foxy" is safe dd
First out of the magnificent trifecta to leave the rate is a rather fitting song all things considered...

Hold it, hold it all in
Let it build up
Oh, build a bomb
And blow it, blow it away
Clear it all out
Just end it...



Comforting Lie

Average score: 7.943

Highest score: 10 x 4 (@Maki, @Music City Queen, @Sprockrooster, @SlowGinFizzzz)
Lowest score: 5 x 2 (@GimmeWork, @Angeleyes)
My score: 10

High peak: #22 (6 voters)
Low peak: #41 (17, 19-21 voters)

You all are so wrong for this. Not even top 30 placement nor an average score above 8 for "Comforting Lie" is a disgrace but it is what it is. Everyone who gave this anything less than a 9 should greatly question that. Actually, that's a lot of you, since the scores for this song were pretty scattered, as it got some 5s and 6s (ew) and a number of 7s too. Glad that three of my fellow stans gave it the score it deserves at least. Despite the aforementioned rating scale, it didn't have too much movement on the leaderboard though it was close to top 20 at some points (and also out of the top 40 but I don't want to talk about that).

"Comforting Lie" was written by Gwen Stefani, Tom Dumont and Tony Kanal, produced by Glen Ballard and released as 10th track on "Return of Saturn" album. The original version of song was written in June or July 1998, when the band got back to the studio with their producer Matthew Wilder, making it one of the earlier songs from this album. It was later re-worked with Glen Ballard. While only being performed about 10 times during the Return of Saturn, Tony named it his favourite song from this era to perform live and it also got a few acoustic-adjacent live outings, which are linked below.

Now here's the thing: "Comforting Lie" is fucking incredible. If you don't hear that, I feel sorry for you. This song, to reference the lyrics, blew me away - I simply cannot find a single tiniest little objection here and it's been that was ever since I heard it for the first time. In fact, now that I listened to it about 25 times in a row, it can be considered my favourite track from this entire album (then again, my ROS faves change all the time). Anyway, the absolute genius of this song is undisputable. After a short synth moment, the fragmented and unusual time signature sets the tone right away - those drums paired with guitar make for such a memorable beat. The verses lay out the complexity of the lyrics in a prefect way. Then you have the sudden switch to the chorus is a proper headbanging moment, the guitars go all out and the anthemic hook with a punk-rock edge just carries it all. The cycle repeats before we hit the middle-8, which is a showstopper for me every time. Next up, the gasp followed by the third verse starting with "don't gasp at the predictable..." The attention to detail! We are so spoiled that we got one final extended chorus before the song wraps up where it started, with Gwen putting a question mark instead of a point, saying: "I can't decide, this tug of war, I'm feeling weak" as the tempo slows down. Fuck me up. Now to the repeat button.
In general, the melodies are absolute perfection throughout and the song structure is crafted so masterfully it makes me astounded how they managed to fit all that in under 3 minutes. Gwen totally shreds it with the vocals (those 'yeeeeeahyeahyeahyeah...' background vocals during the later chorus are just *chef's kiss*), and all of the band members manage to shine here. And I haven't even gotten to the lyrics yet... I could do an entire dissertation on its lyrics which are in a ROS league of its own (might save that for a separate post actually), but they encompass Gwen's ever so confused mind and can be applied to a number of different topics. Here's the middle-8 for example:

Oh, look I took the Band-Aid off
Did I take it off too soon?
Hysterical confession
My big courageous move

Such brilliant metaphors and exquisite songwriting. I'm guessing that the 'comforting lie' represents our own fabricated thoughts as an attempt to convince ourselves into something that isn't true... but that can't last, as stated in the song. Either way, the entire song literally sounds like an angry battle with your own thoughts and I absolutely love when songs sonically replicate their lyrical matter. Never enough praise for this song yet plenty of tasteless voters who didn't bring this song justice. Again, shame on you for doing this masterpiece so dirty.

A shame that we have only two comments for this absolute gem, so I'll be waiting for the voters to praise this one later. In the meantime, we have @berserkboi (7.5) who says: "Nice song but a little weaker than what came before." The previous tracks are fabulous but that score sure isn't. Luckily, @Sprockrooster (10) is exuding taste here: "Gorgeous production and astounding vocals. Yes, bring that angst."
I lost count of how many times I've replayed this today, but let's hear it again:​

"Don't gasp at the predictable
A comforting lie can't last
Preordained checklist of this awkward love
It's so sad..."

Next up: We hit the 8 average score with another amazing deep cut, but from a different section.
Unless we all die.
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OH FOR FUCK'S SAKE! Gwen and the guys didn't invent metal as a music genre just for y'all to do this masterpiece dirty like that!
NOT "Gwen and the guys". But yeah, "Comforting Lie" invented metal, unconventional time signature etc. only to have this disrespect.

On a random note, this elimination leaves us with "Detective" as the final remaining song under 3 minutes. Now how long will that one last...
I would rather see Don't Let Me Down and Dreaming the Same Dream leave before Detective. Comforting Lie should have made the top 20.
Now this is part of the Return of Saturn cull I've asking for, even if my 5.75 is greatly questioned.
Your scores for some of the uptempo songs from "Return of Saturn" are very baffling indeed, especially considering that even some nu-metal elements are present in "Comforting Lie". But we can't all be tasteful I guess.

Anyway... we're now down to five non-singles from both "Return of Saturn" and "Rock Steady" era. These are:

Magic's in the Makeup
Artificial Sweetener
Too Late
Dark Blue

You're So Foxy

Making Out
Don't Let Me Down
In My Head
Platinum Blonde Life

I agree with most of these, but we'll see whether any of them leave next.
This new forum layout is making all the formatting a bit trickier (especially with a recap coming up) so I'm slower with doing that, but I will post the next elimination tonight.

In the meantime, what do you think/hope is going to be the final cut before we reach top 30?