Billboard Reviews “Settle Down”

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Billboard also posted a review back on the day of release, July 16, and had nothing but high praise for the song.

Billboard — No Doubt
“Settle Down” (6:01)
Producer: Spike Stent
Writers: Gwen Stefani, Tony Kanal, Tom Dumont
Publishers: by World of the Dolphin Music (ASCAP)
Interscope Records

It took No Doubt a solid decade to finish their comeback album, “Push and Shove,” and that prolonged effort immediately shows on the disc’s first single, “Settle Down.” The aggro-pop quartet crams as many hooks as possible into its long-awaited new song, which finds Gwen Stefani adjusting to unfamiliar circumstances but declaring that she’ll be fine; after all, she is “a rough and tough.”

Sonically, the band balances reggae flourishes with Tony Kanal’s kinetic bass movements, creating a forceful continuation of their “Rock Steady” singles. The difference between “Settle Down” and No Doubt hits like “Hey Baby” and “Hella Good” is how hard the group has to work on their new cut: melodies are snipped while others are shoehorned into place, and Stefani’s lyrical conversation with herself sounds more exhaustively constructed than effortless. “It’s kind of complicated, that’s for sure,” the pop star confides before the chorus hits; it’s a line that undoubtedly describes No Doubt’s road to “Push and Shove,” as well as the makeup of its first single.

6 Replies to “Billboard Reviews “Settle Down””

  1. I can’t tell if this is a positive or negative review. They really emphasized the idea that Settle Down was “forced” like ND was trying too hard. I don’t think I like this review, unless someone can convince me differently.

  2. big kudos to the band for working so hard to produce a memorable track! Best ND track ever. Can’t wait to hear the rest.

  3. A decade to finish this record?? Where does Billboard get their info from? It’s hitting high remarks with fans and radio… isnt that what matters!

  4. I like the song, but I do think it doesn’t sounds as effortlessly cool as other songs from the past. Like there is so much going on in it, as far as the melody. I think I’d like it better live.

  5. I don’t even care what the critics say. I think Settle Down is my new favorite ND song. At the very least it’s in the top 3 anyway!

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