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[2006] Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape (Mp3 Download)



Review by Stephen Thomas Erlewine @ allmusic.com
Awkward and alluring in equal measures, Gwen Stefani's 2004 solo debut, Love.Angel.Music.Baby., did its job: it made Gwen a bigger star on her own than she was as the lead singer of No Doubt. With that established and her long-desired wish for a baby finally fulfilled, there was no rush for Gwen to get back to her regular gig, so she made another solo album, The Sweet Escape, which expanded on what really sold her debut: her tenuous connections to Californian club culture. There was always a sense of artifice behind the turn-of-the-century makeover that brought Gwen from a ska-punk sweetheart to a dance club queen, but that doesn't mean it didn't work at least on occasion, most spectacularly so on the gloriously dumb marching-band rap of "Hollaback Girl," the Neptunes production that turned L.A.M.B. into a blockbuster. There, as on her duet with Eve on "Let Me Blow Ya Mind," Gwen made the transition into a modern-day material girl with ease, but when she tried to shoehorn this ghetto-fabulous persona into her original new wave girl character, it felt forced, nowhere more so than on the Linda Perry written and produced "What You Waiting For." Gwen doesn't make that mistake again on The Sweet Escape -- by and large, she keeps these two sides of her personality separate, favoring the streets and nightclubs to the comfort of her new wave home. Just because she wants to run in the streets doesn't mean she belongs there; she continues to sound far more comfortable mining new wave pop, as only a child of the '80s could. As always, it's those celebrations of cool synths and stylish pop hooks that work the best for Stefani, whether she's approximating the chilliness of early-MTV new romantics on "Wonderful Life," mashing Prince and Madonna on "Fluorescent," or lying back on the coolly sensual "4 in the Morning."

Only once on the album is she able to bring this style and popcraft to a heavy dance track, and that's on the irresistible Akon-produced title track, driven by a giddy "wee-oh!" hook and supported by a nearly anthemic summertime chorus. Tellingly, the Neptunes, the architects of her best dance cuts on L.A.M.B., did not produce this track, but they do have a huge presence on The Sweet Escape, helming five of the 12 songs, all but one being tracks that weigh down the album considerably. The exception is "U Started It," a light and nifty evocation of mid-period Prince, with its lilting melody, silken harmonies, and pizzicato strings. It sounds effortless and effervescent, two words that do not apply to their other four productions, all skeletal, rhythm-heavy tracks that fail to click. Sometimes, they're merely leaden, as on the stumbling autobiographical rap "Orange County Girl"; sometimes, they're cloying and crass, as on the rather embarrassing "Yummy"; sometimes they have an interesting idea executed poorly, as on "Breakin' Up," a breakup song built on a dying cell phone metaphor that's interesting in theory but its stuttering, static rhythms and repetitive chorus are irritating in practice. Also interesting in theory is the truly bizarre lead single, "Wind It Up," where the Neptunes force fanfares and samples from The Sound of Music's "The Lonely Goatherd" into one of their typical minimalist tracks, over which Gwen spouts off clumsy material-minded lyrics touting her fashion line and her shape. Nothing in this track really works, but it's hard not to listen to it in wonder, since its unwieldy rhythms and rhymes capture everything that's currently wrong about Stefani.

From the stilted production to the fashion fetish, all the way down to her decision to rap on far too much of the album, all the dance-pop here seems like a pose, creating the impression that she's a glamour girl slumming on a weekend night -- something that her self-proclaimed Michelle Pfieffer in Scarface "coke whore" makeover showcased on the album's cover doesn't do much to dissuade. If the dance production on The Sweet Escape were better, these hipster affectations would be easier to forgive, but they're not: they're canned and bland, which only accentuates Stefani's stiffness. These misfires are so grand they overshadow the many good moments on The Sweet Escape, which are invariably those songs that stay true to her long-standing love of new wave pop (not coincidentally, these include every production from her No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal). These are the moments that give The Sweet Escape its sweetness, and while they may require a little effort to dig out, they're worth the effort, since it proves that beneath the layers of bling, Gwen remains the SoCal sweetheart that has always been as spunky and likeable as she has been sexy.


Track Lists
01. Wind It Up
02. The Sweet Escape
03. Orange County Girl
04. Early Winter
05. Now That You Got It
06. 4 In The Morning
07. Yummy
08. Fluorescent
09. Breakin' Up
10. Don't Get It Twisted
11. U Started It
12. Wonderful Life
13. Candyland [Bonus Track]
14. Wind It Up (Original Neptunes Mix) [Bonus Track]

Download Instruction

I had already tested the links before I posted the album with "Internet Download Manager". If you fail to download all mp3s on this blog, you should try it conventionally through "Save Target As.." for Explorer users or "Save Link As.." for Firefox users. If the problem persists, links are invalid.

Notice

  • All mp3s on this site are not on our server, we only found them by search engine. So, don't ask if they became invalid.
  • Although you can have all these mp3s for free, I still recommend you to buy the original CD. I do buy the original CD.
  • All credits go to original uploader...

What People Said

track 2 not working Anonymous Anonymous :: 1/6/07, 3:38 AM :: Top  

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link is fine.... maybe you should try again... Blogger riefky w. el huraibi :: 1/6/07, 5:43 AM :: Top  

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track 2 is not working at all, track 3 seems to bee quite short (1:19/1.2M??), each track at different bitrate :( Anonymous Anonymous :: 1/6/07, 6:10 PM :: Top  

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To be honest, I only downloaded first track. and is was fine.

I only try to download the second one, and I just the link, not the quality.

I'm confused, different bitrate?! how could be?! I took them from the same source, here's the source Blogger riefky w. el huraibi :: 1/6/07, 6:49 PM :: Top  

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The links works but track two hasn't ripped properly.
Trying the source go up a directory and get the track, it's like 13.9 megs big though.

Different bitrate >> Rather easily, with any decent ripping software it does variable bitrate which decides the best rate for each individual track... :D

Enjoy and thanks for the find

Regards,

HuskyboiZa Blogger Ryan :: 1/11/07, 6:06 PM :: Top  

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Oh track 3 is not complete as well, goto
http://kevin.megin.ca/soft/

and you should be able to get track 2 and 3 complete.

:D Blogger Ryan :: 1/11/07, 6:44 PM :: Top  

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thanks ryan...I'm sure our visitors will thanking you for your new links. Blogger riefky w. el huraibi :: 1/11/07, 11:27 PM :: Top  

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Not Found
The requested URL /soft/Gwen Stefani - The Sweet Escape -2006-JESS-The Pirate Bay-/02 The Sweet Escape.mp3 was not found on this server.

Additionally, a 404 Not Found error was encountered while trying to use an ErrorDocument to handle the request.
All track in album not work, but i'm very thank's you so Anonymous Anonymous :: 4/19/07, 11:02 AM :: Top  

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