Saturn's orbit requires a 29-year span to travel its full course. No Doubt singer/songwriter Gwen Stefani has conceptualized that, much like the ringed planet, our own lives reach a turning point at age 29 -- at least hers did. Hence the title "Return of Saturn" for the latest from the Orange County, Calif., indie-gone-mainstream pop-ska band.
The song "New" (first released on the "Go!" soundtrack) does indeed represent the new and versatile sounds offered on Saturn. "Staring Problem" continues the vibe with its hefty ska punch. "Artificial Sweetener" is a candid, slow-building romp that explodes with an arresting chorus hook. "Magic's in the Makeup" has an easy reggae stride, and the vaudevillian tones of "Bathwater" are a treat.
Showing a previously unseen romanticism that freshly balances the band's tough roots and its blossoming growth, No Doubt is again poised for stellar success.