Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hollaback Girl

“Uh huh, this is my shit
All the girls stomp your feet like this

A few times I've been around that track
So it's not just gonna happen like that
Because I ain't no hollaback girl
I ain't no hollaback girl”

Hollaback Girl – Gwen Stefani

Imagine fronting a hugely successful 1990’s rock band with a number of hit singles. Imagine being the it music girl for a number of years. But then, your band splits up and you launch into your solo career with earnest because you could become the next big female musician. And then - you release this song “I ain't no Hollaback girl”

I wouldn't go as far as to say this song ruined Gwen Stefani’s career, but it came pretty close. You might say you love it and it’s real cool and what not, but in comparison to her other songs, it was the bottom of the heap. Gwen, along with No Doubt, bought out songs such as Just A Girl, Don’t Speak and It’s My Life, which in my opinion were absolute gems. Don’t Speak peaked at number one in charts in America, United Kingdom and Australia. In early 2004 No Doubt went on a hiatus and Gwen Stefani, the cool chick she was, embarked on a solo career. She came out with the funky song What You Waiting For?  which is about the fear of releasing an album.

Followed by ... Hollaback Girl

What a disaster. Personally, I don’t like the song and I don’t like that it’s Gwen Stefani. I get that’s a big middle finger to Courtney Love, who said Stefani was little more than a cheerleader. But did Gwen really need to rise to a jab by Courtney Love? And if Gwen did think she needed to make a comeback, I wish she’d done it in a way which was a bit cleverer. A bit more lyrical wisdom instead of spelling out bananas, and less running around like a cheerleader, more empowering what Gwen Stefani really is – a successful mother and business woman. I sincerely hope No Doubt’s recent comeback is going to show a lot more musical gloriousness than Hollaback Girl did.]

I suppose musicians want to take risks and change things up as their career goes on, even if they do run the risk of ruining their career. Or it could go the other way, and a musician could make a song so out of the way, like Gwen did, it becomes popular. After all, Hollaback Girl got more than one million downloads and was one of the biggest hits of 2005. I call it bizarre, but few hundred thousand fans out there must have thought it was a chance to tell the world they ain't no hollaback girl.

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