The Sweet Escape [Clean Lyrics]

( 2 )

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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 ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
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.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 12/5/2006
  • Label: Interscope Records
  • UPC: 602517156050
  • Catalog Number: 000812102
  • Sales rank: 104,487

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Wind It Up (3:09)
  2. 2 The Sweet Escape - Akon (4:06)
  3. 3 Orange County Girl (3:23)
  4. 4 Early Winter (4:44)
  5. 5 Now That You Got It (2:59)
  6. 6 4 in the Morning (4:51)
  7. 7 Yummy (4:57)
  8. 8 Fluorescent (4:18)
  9. 9 Breakin' Up (3:46)
  10. 10 Don't Get It Twisted (3:38)
  11. 11 U Started It (3:08)
  12. 12 Wonderful Life (3:58)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Gwen Stefani Primary Artist, Vocals
Stephen Bradley Trumpet, Baritone, Baritone (Vocal)
Pete Davis Keyboards
Martin Gore Guitar
Tony Love Guitar
Angelo Moore Saxophone
Gabrial McNair Trombone, Keyboards, Baritone, Baritone (Vocal)
Pharrell Williams Vocals
Tony Kanal Keyboards
Greg Collins Guitar, Bass Guitar
Loren Dawson Keyboards
Richard Hawley Guitar
Akon Keyboards
Matt Beck Guitar
Mark Ralph Guitar
Tim Rice-Oxley Piano, Keyboards
Aliaune "Akon" Thiam Keyboards
Sean Garrett Background Vocals
Alex Dromgoole Guitar, Bass Guitar
Giorgio Tuinfort Keyboards
Anthony LoGerfo Percussion
Kingston James McGregor Rossdale Voices
Talent Bootcamp Kids Vocals
Anthony LoGerto Percussion
Scheila Gonzalez Clarinet
Technical Credits
Steve Berman Contributor
Ron Fair Orchestra Production
Nellee Hooper Producer, Audio Production
Kevin Mills Engineer
Colin Mitchell Engineer
Linda Perry Composer
Mark "Spike" Stent Producer
Simon Gogerly Engineer
Martin Kierszenbaum Contributor
Gwen Stefani Composer
Pharrell Williams Composer
Robbie Snow Contributor
Tony Kanal Composer, Programming, Producer, Audio Production
Gretchen Anderson Contributor
Aidan Love Programming
Brian Garten Engineer
Angelo Aponte Engineer
The Neptunes Producer, Audio Production
Swizz Beatz Producer, Audio Production
Kathy Angstadt Contributor
Greg Collins Engineer, Vocal Engineer, Vocal Producer
Jolie Clemens Art Direction
Tom Williams Contributor
Chris Lopes Contributor
Andrew Coleman Engineer
Ewan Pearson Programming
Andrew Alekel Engineer
S. Garrett Composer
Stephanie Johnson Contributor
Bojan Dugich Engineer
Kasseem Dean Composer
Andrew Mains Contributor
Jonathan Merritt Engineer
Tim Rice-Oxley Composer
Aliaune "Akon" Thiam Composer, Programming, Producer, Audio Production
Ravid Yosef Contributor
Keith Gretlein Engineer
Sean Garrett Producer
Dennis Dennehy Contributor
Dyana Kass Contributor
David Saslow Contributor
Ryan O'Donnell Contributor
Julian Chan Engineer
Jurgen Grebner Contributor
Neil Kanal Programming, Engineer
Scott Enright Contributor
Giorgio Tuinfort Composer, Programming, Producer
Tom Balla Contributor
Missy Barone Contributor
Candace Berry Contributor
Brian Bray Contributor
Nino Cuccinello Contributor
Wendy Diplock Contributor
Jordan Glickson Contributor
Morgan Hartmann Contributor
Kerry Hickey Contributor
Neil Jacobson Contributor
Garnett March Contributor
Ginger Ramsey Contributor
Crystal Riley Contributor
Brenda Romano Contributor
Tony Seyler Contributor
Dave Tomberlin Contributor
Vivian Tran Contributor
David Cohen Contributor
Aiden Love Programming
Brian "Big Bass" Gardner Mastering
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 2 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2010

    The Sweet Escape

    this particular song is sung beautifully... Gwen Stephani is a wonderful artist.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 24, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews