Good things generally happen when Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams team up on a boastful, sleek and heavy-stomping single.
Stefani acknowledges as much in her new video for "Spark the Fire" -- "Finally remembering what is me / That is what happens when I get with P."
The Williams-produced single is the latest rousing cut from the No Doubt singer, who is beginning a long-awaited solo pop comeback -- her last just-Gwen album was in 2006. The song is full of vintage Pharrell moves: pep-band drum lines, percussive blips and a lot of open space for Stefani's gum-smacking shouts.
The video, directed by Sophie Muller, creates an anime- and emoji-filled fantastia around Stefani, riding cartoon ghosts and being guided through a warehouse party by a flock of disembodied Pharrell heads.
The song drops into a vastly different pop landscape for Stefani since 2006's smooth, synthy '80s-pop confection "The Sweet Escape." But her tart sing-rapping is on point at the moment, and this track is a welcome return to the studio styles of Weird Minimalist Pharrell rather than Scrubbed Up Soul Man Pharrell.
The two premiered the track on Monday night's episode of their show "The Voice." Stefani's as-yet-untitled album is rumored to be out sometime in early 2015 on Interscope, with Benny Blanco's imprint Mad Love co-releasing it. But in the meantime, your winter holiday may be demonstrably peppier with this.
Follow @AugustBrown for breaking music news.