Love, Angel, Music, Baby

You won't find much self-revelation on Gwen Stefani's solo debut. The No Doubt frontwoman proves to be even more of a musical chameleon than another famously provocative blonde singer/ fashion icon.

You won't find much self-revelation on Gwen Stefani's solo debut. The No Doubt frontwoman proves to be even more of a musical chameleon than another famously provocative blonde singer/ fashion icon. But Stefani is not shy about admitting the collaborative effort behind "Love, Angel, Music, Baby," which involved a wealth of well-known producers. Paradoxically, the track with the most personal lyrics ("Cool") is the one that sounds most like a No Doubt outtake. Stefani instead asserts herself through her musical choices, adding her stamp to the signature sounds of, among others, the Neptunes and Dr. Dre (who delivers the standout "Rich Girl," which reunites Stefani and Eve). The album shuttles breathlessly from '80s new wave and funk ("What You Waiting For?") to millennial hip-hop ("Luxurious" samples the Isley Brothers). Style trumps substance in Stefani's world, making "Love, Angel, Music, Baby" an ideal guilty pleasure.—JM