Songs I Wish Everyone Knew: “The Real Thing” by Gwen Stefani

Gwen Stefani did something pretty amazing with her career. She was able to transition from No Doubt’s ska-tinged rock sound to modern new wave pop star and actually make it seamless. As ND’s frontwoman, she was widely recognized for her relentless energy and tomboyishness, and all of the sudden she comes out with her debut solo album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. and she exposes her more feminine, pop-tastic side. Most artists couldn’t pull it off with such finesse (many have tried,) but Gwen Stefani isn’t most artists. Between 80s synth sounds and melodies, dance rock rompers, and urban infused pop numbers, the album was heralded as a pop masterpiece, as it should be. One track on L.A.M.B. in particular just blows the rest out of the water, though, despite not being released as a proper single. “The Real Thing” isn’t promoted as such, but it features the ultimate 80s supergroup. Outside of Gwen holding down the pitch-perfect vocals in front, the track features Prince’s key Revolution members Wendy & Lisa on guitar and keys, respectively, while New Order/Joy Division’s Peter Hook brings his iconic bass sound to the mix, while Bernard Sumner adds in some backing vocals. JUST. WOW. If someone can come up with a better line up for a song, I would love to hear it. On top of it all, “The Real Thing” is the best song on the album. The sweet, mid-tempo synthpop piece is beautiful and heartfelt with the smallest dose of candy-coating to make it all sweet and shiny. If your idea of Gwen Stefani is an artist who is “Just A Hollaback Girl,” give this song a try and expand your mind. 80s fans step to the front!




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