Europe
Scottish voters reject independence from Britain
Arts & EntertainmentMusicPop & Hiss

Gwen Stefani brings 2004's 'Hollaback Girl' to 2014's 'The Voice'

Gwen StefaniThe Voice (tv program)
Gwen Stefani's pop comeback continues on 'The Voice'
'There's only been one incredible, historical, most important, incredibly talented ... rad girl in the world'
Pharrell Williams, in fact, stole the mini-show on 'The Voice'

A few weeks ago Pharrell Williams at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival declared that No Doubt singer Gwen Stefani was "making her arrival back to the music industry."

She's taking a detour through the television industry first. 

Stefani appeared Monday night on NBC's talent competition "The Voice," appearing with Williams to reprise her mid-2000s hit "Hollaback Girl." We know what Williams thinks of his pal and future co-judge on 'The Voice." "There's only been one incredible, historical, most important, incredibly talented ... rad girl in the world," he said to describe Stefani at Coachella.

That's the sort of hyperbole that's right at home on "The Voice," where A-list judges gush week after week that no-name performers have just stunned them with one of the greatest interpretations of "River Deep Mountain High" ever recorded. But "The Voice" isn't really about the contestants; it's about the judges and how they respond to the raw talent before them. 

It's a better vehicle for relaunching a career than starting one, where familiarity fares better than originality. So the big, spacious, marching band-like beats of "Hollaback Girl" fared relatively well, despite being a decade old (the "b-a-n-a-n-a-s" is still, however, silly). But that likely says more about the durability of Williams' less-is-more approach to production than any specific choice Stefani made. 

Williams, in fact, stole the mini-show on "The Voice." Well, more specifically, his fashion sense, and no, not his hat. The producer-singer-rapper sported a red Mickey Mouse sweater, and while the cynical among us may wonder if that was a bit of product placement, the only brand being built was Williams' own. 

As pop stars around Williams get more sexually aggressive — witness current "Voice" judge Usher with his leave-nothing-to-the-imagination single "Good Kisser"  — Williams continues to push his dweeb-meets-cool vibe, which tempers any sort of raunchiness with an aw-shucks appeal. 

Besides, if he really wanted to shill, he'd be sporting a "Despicable Me" sweater, but it's doubtful even a pop star can pull off bright yellow on national television

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
Related Content
Gwen StefaniThe Voice (tv program)
  • Hunter Hayes' 'Storyline' full of a jumpy intensity
    Hunter Hayes' 'Storyline' full of a jumpy intensity

    When Hunter Hayes took to the Grammy Awards in January to premiere his song “Invisible” – a windswept power ballad in which the 22-year-old country singer describes the hardships faced by “outcasts and rebels” – your first response was: What on earth does...

  • Barbra Streisand stays mostly the way she was on 'Partners'
    Barbra Streisand stays mostly the way she was on 'Partners'

    Amid the breathless genuflection that constituted Jimmy Fallon’s much-hyped interview with Barbra Streisand this week on “The Tonight Show” – “It’s unbelievable to stand next to you,” he actually said at one point -- Fallon somehow managed to extract...

Comments
Loading