As famous and glamorous as she might be, even Gwen Stefani has insecurities — and she's apparently airing her nervousness about her forthcoming solo album in the lyrics to the album's first single, "What You Waiting For?"
The lyrics to the song — formerly the title track for her forthcoming debut, Love, Angel, Music, Baby — captures the singer's conflicted feelings in the form of an inner dialogue with herself, with the more confident Gwen (who sings in a tough, strident tone) giving the nervous one (squeakier and higher) some tough love: "Take a chance, you might grow ... Take a chance, you stupid ho."
Stefani's nervousness about the album has been well documented (see "Gwen Stefani Turns To Bandmate For Aid After Freak-Out").
The song — co-written with Linda Perry and produced by Nellee Hooper — starts with a sweet, slow piano melody and lyrics that seem to pay tribute to her bandmates in No Doubt ("What an amazing time/ What a family/ How did the years go by?/ Now it's only me"). It then shifts abruptly to a driving beat with layered background voices, as Stefani suggests deadline pressures by singing, "Tick-tock, tick-tock." The nervous Stefani sings in the first person, while the confident one responds in the second person: "Naturally, I'm worried if I go it alone," while the other responds, "You never know, it could be great."
The chorus acts as the kick in the pants that the fretting Stefani needs: "Look at your watch now/ You're still a super-hot female/ You got your million-dollar contract/ And they're all waiting for your hot track." Finally, she starts to sound convinced, and even enthusiastic about what's in store: "I can't wait to go back into Japan." As the song winds down, the two voices merge.
"Making The Video: Gwen Stefani" airs on MTV Wednesday, 10/13 at 6 p.m.
The single is officially released on October 4 (although some radio stations are already playing it); Love, Angel, Music, Baby comes out November 23.