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4.4 out of 5 stars33
4.4 out of 5 stars
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on 11 December 2001
Very good new album by the established ska punkers 'no doubt', Gwen Stefani's work with Eve is evident with rapping being on two of the album's songs 'hey baby' and 'underneath it all', but these fit very well with the traditional no doubt sounds. The song produced by William Orbit (famous for input to Madonna's excellent 'Ray of Light'), (Making Out), is excellent, with Mr Orbit's influces very clearly shown here. Work with another Madonna producer Nellee Hooper (Bedtime Stories) is also fresh, with new unusual sounds, which do the whole band justice. But once again, Gwen Stefani's powerful vocals make the album, and her voice shifts smoothly for the different songs on the album. Working with new producers has been a good move for no doubt, and they even collaborate with 'the symbol' formally known as Prince, giving another excellent but different song. Overall, a fresh, funky album, No doubt doing what they do best, making music!
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on 5 August 2010
one of my all time favourite bands released one of me all time favourite albums of the last decade in 2001 with Rock Steady, a perfect blend of electronica pop, Dancehall,Raggae,Ska,Hip Hop and Dance Pop with a fantastic New Wave twist almost effortlessly transforming what could have appeared somewhat generic or unhinged transformed itself on one disc into what i would call a modern masterpiece!

Rock Steady is the 5th full studio album by No Doubt and this is the album that certified me as a fan WAY back when i was about 9 years old! i loved that raw energy Gwen Stefani had with her vocals, and the synthy deep basslines in their songs and that pure nonsensical vibe each song has on here that makes this album flourish with colour and depth to the lyrics which get you to either relate to or just propel one's self to the dancefloor and boggie yourself senseless!

Hella Good is for me the most HUGEST sounding dance anthem of the recording, produced by Pharrel and the Neptunes and Nelle Hooper(a future collaborator on Gwen's L.A.M.B and Sweet Escape solo albums) with a very huge Madonna synth vibe dance anthem like Into The Groove or Dress You Up in terms of the fact that the lyrics are really belted out while the dark synth grooves motivate you to just groove out to the song! Hey Baby shows reggae and Dancehall influences and was also a major hit here in the UK very pulsating and very anthemic!

What i also love is that William Orbit who collaborated with Madonna on her sensational Ray Of Light(1998) and Music(2000) albums works here with ND on a hidden gem called Making Out and you can really tell the influence from those aforementioned albums on this song, Gwen's vocals have similarities to Madonna's in itself but Orbit's Trance/Electronica style is present and really elevates this song above what it should be, it's a sensational listen it really is!

we also later on garner collaborations with Prince on the unusually artistic sounding Waiting Room, and a further few Nellee Hooper productions such as the mesmerising Running, the mini-epic Detective, In My Head and of course the title track Rock Steady which incorporates some unusual slow Dub sounds along with edgy House styles.

Rock Steady is an album which is elemental in every sense of it's description and indeed ranks as one of the all time greatest albums made in the 00's decade, i even personally rank it higher than the AMAZING Tragic Kingdom. Unfortunately Rock Steady debut outside of the Top 40 albums chart! despite the success of it's singles which makes the album something of an underrated masterpiece but has since in 9 years of release shipped a grand total of 6 million album units worldwide (their second highest after the 18 million selling Tragic Kingdom!).

Rock Steady is pure gold from start to finish!
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VINE VOICEon 16 December 2002
I'm a pretty big No Doubt fan but i didn't buy this album initially, despite liking the first two singles "Hey Baby" and "Hella Good", i guess i just never really got round to buying it. I'm glad i have now though. I've owned it less than a week and it is by far my favourite album at present. Each song tells its own little story and its really enjoyable listening to the album right the way through. My favourites are "underneath it all" "platinum blonde life" and "don't let me down". Saying this i'm really impressed with this album and look forward to hearing more very soon from no doubt!
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on 10 December 2001
No Doubt have returned with a different and uplifting album.
Instead of just coming back with the same album only with a different name and different lyrics, like some bands think is acceptable these days!(not mentioning any names!) they have re-entered our C.D player with an unusual and eclectic mix of brilliant music.
You cannot liken this to any other band. They may come under the same genre as Red Hot Chili Peppers and 311 but they have a trademark sound (gwen's voice) which they skillfully mould different styles of music around.
There are a lot more reggae influences in this album, for example the single 'Hey Baby' features Bounty Killer rapping. As the band says, during recording there were a lot of dancehall influences. Don't let this put you off (don't worry its not the type kids with neon yellow jackets and whistles rave to), its more subtle and No Doubt pulls it off brilliantly , exploring a new area of music but not losing what makes us love them!
Some songs are more reggae orientated than others i.e 'Underneath It All' and 'Rock Steady'. Standout tracks are 'Rock Steady', 'Making Out','Hey Baby' and 'Don't let Me Down'.
If I was to compare this to previous albums I would say it was more similar to parts of Tragic Kingdom,(like tracks 5&11) than any other, but there really is no obvious parallel.
Overall this is an excellent new C.D from the band. I'd definately recommend it to No Doubt fans and No Doubt virgins alike! KATE x
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on 15 July 2010
The lithe machine-woman that is Gwen Stefani is a strange concoction: if you take away the massed slobber-factor 9 which the poor woman inevitably invokes every time she exhales, it then becomes interesting to sift through what's left.
She's not a big singer; she can carry a tune in a limited bucket but she's nowhere close to Bush, Bassey or even Banshee.
She can write a choice lyric occasionally, and luckily knows when a chord-change or counter-melody is effective, and that's basically her. Shouts of 'star quality' and 'charisma' don't qualify without the lush strawberry image - and she wouldn't receive either if she looked like Peter Andre.

'Rocksteady' achieves pleasantness despite reservations. Purely on song terms, it wins by a leg: the sub-Trojan ballad 'Underneath It All' curls up at your feet after swirling fetchingly around your senses, and the Christmassy 'Running' allows GS unexpected vulnerability far beyond the rattling collection tins of similar angst-maidens, playing on the gullible wallets of lustily sympathetic daddy-figures.

All-in-all, 'Rocksteady' is a success, while ultimately operating light-years away from any sort of great-album status. Gwen is good, but she should stick with what she knows - and that means knocking her largely abysmal solo career on the head for a start.

Stefani without the ogling and the drooling isn't much fun to be honest; you wouldn't rush to something even as excellent as 'Early Winter' without at the very least the promise of those excellent legs completely dominating the video, or those proficiently pouting lips redefining glossy feminine redness in her 'live' MTV appearances.
It's quite ridiculous to attach any kind of artistic seriousness or aesthetic longevity to her; in any context, she can't be considered anything other than ornately transient.

'Rocksteady' is fun and frolics, while you search for the true loves of your life.
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on 24 November 2005
I've been a fan of Gwen Stefani and her band for about three years and this is one of the best albums I've ever heard. Most songs on it are catchy and my particular favourites are Rock Steady, Underneath It All, Hey Baby, Don't Let Me Down, Hella Good, Running and Platinum Blonde Life. Start the Fire and Waiting Room are okay while In My Head has cool and catchy lyrics. Also listen out for the lead singer's name towards the end of track 10. I also like the rhyming in Making Out, although it sounds a bit weird. The production of this album is brilliant and I would reccommend it to anyone who likes pop and rock mixed with a bit of reggae (Underneath It All) and dancehall (Hey Baby).
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on 6 January 2002
This Album is so different from all the other albums. No Doubt have left their ska, Punk image which i must admit I do miss, but new albums mean new change. This album i believe has opened new doors for the band giving them many new fans but also sadly loosing old fans.
It may be questioned what has happened to the other members of the band as the music is much more computerised. I really like this album for this difference. It gives variety. Hella Good starts off with rock and is one of my favourites. Then there is the very different Running, which sends me off into a dream world. It is clear from this album that Gwen Stefani is much happier. For instance in the last album, Return of sturn, she was singing songs like Ex girlfriend and simple hind of life where she felt hurt and insecure. Now she is singing much more confident songs like hey baby and Making out.
Hey baby the New Single from this album is a bit of a let down, as the lyrics are very repetitive. The one thing this album lacks is songs which give Gwen the potential to show her amazingly strong voice off. Like most of their albums the start is by far the best, but if you do buy this album listen to Platinum Blond!!!!! It is at the end but is sooo good. The last two songs are a bit weak. Waiting room is a bit too bizarre for my liking.
I am already looking forward to the next album but i am hoping that No Doubt may just please many old fans with their distinguished ska/punk vibes again. I have the last three albums, and out of all of them Tragic KIngdom is my favourite. It is a must buy for any No Doubt fan. I just believe that this album has to be given a fair trial because it has great potential and grows on you.
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on 26 August 2002
This album is excellent. I'm a big dance music fan, so when i heard Hey Baby and Hella Good from a supposedly ska band i was quite surprised about the dance elements in there - those two singles could have been produced by Basement Jaxx! I was intrigued, and bought the album. It is all consistently good until the last two tracks, which are OK but you'll lose interest in them if you're doing anything else as well as listening to this CD - they're the only tracks which i would consider album fillers. All the others, masterpieces.
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definitely my fav album of 2001! although this album can never beat the tragic kingdom album in my book, its still at the top of my list. since buying this about a week ago, its been in my cd player ever since. no doubt have produced a different sound with this album, more based around reggae than their ska roots. the first single hey baby is cool - but i must say my fav on this album is waiting room. written by and featuring prince, it just wicked. biggin' up da no doubt wit' dis one, aiight!!
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on 24 February 2002
I have all the no doubt albums and they are all fantastic.
NO DOUBT- A nice mixture of ska and jazz.
BEACON STREET COLLECTION- Very ska-punk , but with a bit of rock too.
TRAGIC KINGDOM- The best of the lot. It still has ska,punk and jazz, but they are also experimenting alittle bit with reggae.
RETURN OF SATURN-Tragic kingdom was a hard act to follow but they have made a good job of this album. It is more punk and rock than ska.
ROCK STEADY-The new album. On this album they have completely dropped their ska roots and are trying out reggae (which is just a slower version of ska). The reggae works very well. It sounds more chilled out and sexy.
I warn people not to be put off buying this album because of the single 'HEY BABY'. This album is not R+B or Hip-Hop. It is strictly rock and reggae.
Standout tracks are:
HELLA GOOD-A rocky track, but mixed with cool keyboard sounds.
MAKING OUT-The best track on the album. It it is so good to dance too.
START THE FIRE-A really chilled out reggae track. Ignore the title.
WAITING ROOM-Not necessarily a good track but,since Prince has helped them with it, it is very awkward and different.
All in all I really reccomend this album.
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