Gwen Stefani has always taken risks with her lead singles. If you’re old enough to remember, “What Are You Waiting For?” was quite polarizing at the time, and don’t even get me started on that crazy ass yodelling from “Wind It Up.”
Stefani’s new single, “Baby Don’t Lie,” is not one of those risky songs. Ryan Tedder and Benny Blanco produced it, which tells you everything you need to know about it without even needing to read the rest of this post.
It’s supposed to come off as a beefier, more emotional version of post-2009 Stargate, but Rihanna’s sexual posturing on “What’s Your Name?” struck a much deeper chord than this does. I felt Rihanna’s flirty passion when she said she needed a boy to take it over, but “Baby Don’t Lie” is way too calculated to bring on any feels (especially with that ridiculous bridge).
At first I tried to convince myself that Gwenny was being a badass by subverting our expectations with this radio-friendly offering. Then I remembered that she just came off a flop album with No Doubt and is now a judge on The Voice who was on HSN for hours last week promoting her new fragrance line, and I realized that no, she isn’t trying to subvert anything– she’s just trying to get on Kiis FM.
Not that there’s anything wrong with trying to get on the airwaves, and I can appreciate some good top forty fodder that can get me singing along and shaking my ass. But Gwen should be held to a higher standard than someone like Selena Gomez, so I can’t stan “Baby Don’t Lie” just because it ticks the appropriate boxes and doesn’t overly annoy me.
First Fergie dropped that dumb dumb anthem “L.A. Love (La La),” and now Gwen’s reinventing herself as the favourite pop star of soccer moms across America.
Should I just kill myself now, or should I wait until their albums drop?