Who here has been walking in the spiderwebs? Felt as though you were just a girl in the world? Washed in someone’s old bathwater?* Tragic Kingdom was one of those albums that absolutely defined my pre-teen years. As I’m typing, I’m actually visualizing the well-worn liner notes, the band members photographed in a Kodachrome-bright orange grove, this punky blond chick up front, demanding that I look at her. Oh, young me. You were so unaware of how totally gay you were for Gwen Stefani.
Released in 1995, Tragic Kingdom was one of the very first CDs I ever owned, and I have purchased and loved each successive No Doubt album ever since (yes, even Rock Steady). Sure, Gwen’s struck out on her own and made some….interesting musical choices, but in my mind, she will always be the frontwoman of No Doubt, jumping on beds in her undies, telegraphing her hunger for power and love with every glance at the camera, every song. She’s that pink-haired, muscular beast of a tiny woman, tearing up the stage with her girl rage. And no kids, or marching band apparel, or luxury clothing and perfume lines will ever change that for me.