This came out in 2001 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):
Their last album Return of Saturn was all about turning 30, growing up and settling down. Now, less than two years later, SoCal ska-popsters No Doubt are ready to party again.
Rock Steady, their fourth album, ditches all their newfound maturity for old-fashioned, high-spirited frivolity, with 13 bouncy tunes like Hey Baby, Platinum Blonde Life and Making Out, whose titles tell you just about everything you need to know. A slate of producers — Prince, Ric Ocasek, Sly & Robbie, William Orbit — keep the sonic palette varied, while the band’s snappy effervescence and kewpie-doll singer Gwen Stefani’s Betty Boop sultriness keep the songs consistently satisfying. From the neck-snapping funk of Hella Good and the dancehall pop of Hey Baby to the slow-groove skank of its title cut, Rock Steady is a solid, supremely entertaining album that is No Doubt’s most direct, accessible and enjoyable disc in years. No two ways about it.