HitFix

Gwen Stefani says ‘Baby Don’t Lie’ on new solo single

Gwen Stefani's new solo single “Baby Don't Lie” is out, and it's running all over the place.

At first it threatens to be a gum-chewing M.I.A. hip-hop hybrid. Then it soars straight into Ellie Goulding dance-pop territory, and then mid-tempo love song with a hiccup at the end, plus a OneRepublic counter-melody on the tags after the chorus. Then Iggy Azalea's influence rears its head.

Well, at least the whiff of OneRepublic can be partly to all of the co-songwriters: Ryan Tedder, who worked with Benny Blanco and Noel Zancanella to write this sonic Frankenstein.

Tedder leads OneRepublic and Blanco — who produced on OneRepublic's latest album “Native” — could be a solid lead as to why anybody would ape the slack-voweled sounds of Iggy Azalea: he co-wrote pop-laden “Black Widow” for the Aussie rapper. Zancanella also co-wrote and co-produced for OneRepublic, and was behind Ellie Goulding's “Burn,” plus a few tunes for acts like Maroon 5, Demi Lovato and Selena Gomez.

Start connecting a bunch of those dots and you get a song that doesn't at all seem distinctly Gwen Stefani, except for her willingness to speak-sing without ever actually having to verge on rapping.

The No Doubt frontwoman still has a lot of power behind her voice and can still carry a decent melody when she's given one, namely the chorus here. But it's hardly a reintroduction to the personality behind “Hollaback Girl.” This is a generic play for radio, without much fun or heart. I'm more eager to hear how a whole album would fare.

The music video for “Baby Don't Lie” will premiere tomorrow (Oct. 21).

“Baby Don't Lie” is Stefani's first new music as a solo artist since she released “The Sweet Escape” in 2006. No Doubt dropped their newest album in 2012. She is currently a judge on “The Voice.”

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