Remember that time in 1995 when grunge had all but died in terms of the media and it just seemed like nothing would excite you anymore? Well of course it wasn’t all that dramatic but for me it was. I was in 7th grade and being 12 I was hooked on the radio. The rock radio station was playing a song by a new band called No Doubt from Orange County, California. This was years before my Southern California obsession but I was hooked on this new song, Spiderwebs. Not since Courtney Love had I heard a girl fronted band on the radio that I could sing to and completely embrace as a weird kid in junior high. Little did I know that No Doubt would become one of the years hottest bands along with their album, Tragic Kingdom.
The album starts hard with some of the most notable cuts, Spiderwebs, Excuse Me Mr., Just A Girl. Hearing this ska punk alternative band was such a breath of fresh air going into the late 90s. Granted I do love grunge music but that rock I was so ready for as a teenager. I went to this tour and it was nothing short of life changing. Gwen Stefani is an incredible singer and was my world at the time. I love “Excuse Me Mr.”, it was always one of the singles that never went full on top 40. Just listen to that breakdown…
The middle in the album also has one of the best songs, Hey You which is like a ska dream with a super fun No Doubt essence sound. Then the albums winds toward the super popular in the cut Sunday Morning. Which I feel is the early No Doubt fans fav song on the album. In just hearing Don’t Speak again after not hearing it for while was nice. There was this time where you couldn’t escape it, I mean really.
The end of the record has this dark vibe with a story telling quality. Stand out tracks are World Go Round and Tragic Kingdom. This live video below is a perfect blend of my two favorites from the first half and second half of this classic album. Ahh memories.