Gwen Stefani is a pop icon, and her legacy is one that has inspired so many creatives from her No Doubt days right through her solo career with ‘Love. Angel. Music. Baby’, ‘The Sweet Escape’ and ‘This Is What The Truth Feels Like’. She’s now heading into the next chapter with her upcoming fifth studio album, and after reintroducing herself with the retrospective lead single ‘Let Me Reintroduce Myself’, I expected a big playful pop moment to follow. She delivered that…. but maybe a little too literally.
‘Slow Clap’ is a colourful pop track full of personality and character, but it lacks serious charm. Following in the footsteps of her worst single to date ‘Spark The Fire’, it has a similar chaotic energy that doesn’t translate well sonically. With a ska, meets pop, meets country beat, she sounds like she’s trying to write the sequel to Hannah Montana’s ‘Hoedown Throwdown’. It’s so abrasive and all over the place that the 2 and a half minute track becomes a lot to digest.
It’s ironic because this song is all about clapping back and being the underdog in a situation, and I have a feeling she’s going to have to clap back at a lot of negativity surrounding this song because it’s just not likeable. “Been the champion, rang the bell. Rocked the bottom, been through hell Climbed the mountain, now I’m well. I just feel like comin’ back for the belt” she sings during the second verse.
I really wanted to love this Gwen Stefani song and embrace her return with her impending fifth studio album, but there’s just nothing about this song that I could praise. Lets hope that soon in the single rollout that there’s a moment that brings back vulnerable Gwen.