No Doubt announce comeback, new single; what should we expect?

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Image Credit: Patrick T. Fallon/Getty Images

In a post on their official website Monday, No Doubt revealed that their long-awaited sixth studio album will be titled Push and Shove, and that its first single, “Settle Down,” will arrive in July. The news follows last week’s announcement of the band’s upcoming set of live performances in support of the album: at the Teen Choice Awards, Late Night with Jimmy Fallon and Good Morning America‘s Summer Concert Series, all in July.

The question, then, isn’t whether No Doubt still has it. On their last tour in 2009 — meant to inspire the band after an unsuccessful attempt at recording — the group rocketed through its catalog of older and newer hits while Stefani showed that having two kids hasn’t harmed her onstage energy (or her impeccable abs). The real question is: Which No Doubt will fans get to hear this summer?

Over the band’s two-decade-plus career, No Doubt has been alternately a ska outfit, a new wave quartet, dancehall dabblers, and Hot 100-topping stadium fillers. And from what the band has been tweeting, it sounds like Push and Shove, which hits stores Sept. 25, will have all those bases covered. When a fan asked on Twitter if they were “bringing back the ska sound or going electro-dance,” guitarist Tom Dumont replied, “ska reggae dance rock electro anthem ballads, all of it!” Well then.

No Doubt hasn’t said much about what “Settle Down” sounds like, though an EW preview of several tracks last June said of the song, “Under a dancehall beat (think the band’s 2001 smash “Hey Baby”), Stefani sings about trying to balance all aspects of her busy life: ‘I’m-a rough and tough/ Nothin’s gonna knock this girl down.’”

Clips of the album’s title track, “Push & Shove,” debuted in a behind-the-scenes webisode in early May, and a quick listen clarifies why the band chose that song to introduce their first studio album since 2001′s Rock Steady. The song erupts into a chorus that takes its cues from No Doubt’s Tragic Kingdom days, but its influences skew toward the group’s more recent output: The track feels like a 2012 update of (yes! This one again!) “Hey Baby,” and the four-to-the-floor beat wouldn’t have been out of place on Stefani’s solo albums either. The song, which features Jamaican artist Busy Signal, is a collaboration with dancehall duo Major Lazer, whose co-mastermind Diplo first spilled the beans a few days ago that “Settle Down” was the first single. The video also shows the band working on the song with Mark “Spike” Stent, who worked on Rock Steady.

Sophie Muller, a longtime No Doubt collaborator and director of some of the band’s most well-known videos, will also helm the “Settle Down” video, which starts filming today, according to Dumont’s Twitter. (Muller, whose last video for the band was “Underneath It All,”  directed nearly all of No Doubt’s videos from Tragic Kingdom, including “Don’t Speak” and “Sunday Morning.” If her video history is any indication, a Muller-directed clip could suggest a return to a more classic No Doubt sound.)

Readers, what are you hoping for? And which No Doubt era would you most like to see the band return to? Or maybe you’d like to see them try something entirely new. Let us know in the comments below.

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