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No Doubt - Tragic Kingdom (Interscope)

No Doubt exploded out of nowhere this summer with one of the sexiest and coolest tracks of the year Just a Girl. That track is just about the only good thing about this album and is definitely no reason to fork out your hard-earned dosh.

A horn section and a funky bass do not a ska band make. To play ska, you have to cut loose and go mental. Madness and the Specials played ska. Fuck it, even the Police were more exciting than these.

The album is too long, most of the songs are dead boring and lack-lustre playing and pristine production make this album the biggest disappointment of the year. Without the songs to back her up, the appeal of Gwen Steffani's vocals wear off very quickly. Not recommended.

by Donnacha DeLong