When we last left No Doubt, it was sometime around 2003, and they were going for old-Hollywood glam in the David LaChapelle-directed “It’s My Life.” Now, more than eight years later, they’re back in video form with their brand-new “Settle Down” clip, a brightly colored, banging thing that sees them re-imagined as truckers … though not the surly, burly type you’re probably used to seeing.
Instead, Gwen and company pilot elaborately decorated 18-wheelers, reminiscent of the “painted ladies” seen on roadways in India and Pakistan (where they’re known as “Horn OK Please” trucks). They’re making their way across a desert en route to a massive party, presumably in celebration of their first album in more than a decade, Push and Shove , due September 25.
Or, shoot, maybe they just wanna dance. And if that’s the case, then “Settle Down” provides the perfect soundtrack, a lilting, jerking bit of dancehall pop courtesy of none other than Diplo. And in keeping with No Doubt’s rather formidable back-catalog of eye-catching clips, the “Settle” video is a kinetic collection of brilliant hues, blinking lights and, of course, some dazzling dance moves. Directed by Sophie Muller — who’s worked with the band in the past, including vids for “Underneath It All,” “Bathwater” and “Simple Kind of Life” — it is a worthy successor to those clips, though it is more reminiscent of stuff like “Hey Baby” or “Hella Good” … namely, it’s sweaty, sexy and swaggering, not to mention a whole lot of fun.
There’s not a whole lot of plot, probably because there doesn’t need to be. Instead, No Doubt return with another good-time, high-energy video (albeit one with a lot of product placement … someone’s gonna be selling a whole lot of neon watches), and really, it’s all their fans could have asked for. “Settle Down” finds the band at their party-ready prime, shaking off the rust of a decade away — though it’s obvious Stefani’s solo forays into pop weigh heavily here — and having a total blast.
A treat for the eyes and the ears, it’s the kind of video we grew up expecting from them — we just didn’t realize how much we took it for granted until they were gone. To heck with art, let’s dance.