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Gwen Stefani - 'Now That You Got It'

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Fraser McAlpine | 09:10 UK time, Thursday, 11 October 2007

Gwen StefaniFor all that she is a ferocious pop amazon, striding about in designer battle-dress with her four-girl harajuku army and generally freaking people out with her ability to look, sound and very probably smell over the top, Lil' Gwennie is clearly something of a softy. Oh sure, she doesn't like to show it - softies are often the people who shout the loudest about how hard they are. Unfortunately this isn't ALWAYS true, so don't just go up to the hardest kid you know and offer them a flower and a friendly hug. Or at least if you DO, don't say it was my idea.

Where were we? Oh yes, Gwen Stefani....

You can tell she's the type of hard-nut who likes to have a special teddy bear in bed with her at nights (and not even a rude one, if such a thing exists) by the way she insists on making songs which are all strident and sleek and modern and shiny and brassy and tough on the outside, but which have a delicate core in the middle which is pure and vulnerable and nervous and a little timid.

This is a perfect case in point, the chorus is all Pussycat Dolls brash. "Now that you got it", she leers, "whatchoo gon' do about it?", and in her mind Gwen is seven metres tall, towering over the jungles of...Amazonia (hey, it's Gwen's fantasy, leave her be) and shouting angrily into the face of her new man, who is normal sized, sitting in the palm of her hand, and so scared there's a little puddle dripping down between two of her massive fingers.

But the verses...take the stomping beat out, remove the dancehall shuffle, and you've got this pretty little oriental-sounding melody, in which ickle Gwen pleads with the same man (who has presumably got changed by now) to treat her right, because she couldn't bear it if her trust turned out to be misplaced, it would just kill her dead.

But Gwen being Gwen, the second she reveals this tender side, she has to cover it straight away with more shouting, and bragging, and general hard-nuttery. But we all know it's there, and that's what makes this work as a song. Well, that and the fact that Damian 'Jnr. Gong' Marley seems to mention feng shui in the first line of his bit.

Four stars Download: Out now
CD Released:
October 22nd

(Fraser McAlpine)


  1. At 12:07 PM on 11 Oct 2007, Mr H wrote:

    I have a question.

    At what point does it cease being amusing that a 38 year old woman is dressing and acting like an 8 year old after a giant bag of Skittles and just become plain scary?

    [I know this! It was the 'What You Waiting For' video! She was terrifying in that. - Fraser]

  2. At 12:36 PM on 11 Oct 2007, Mr H wrote:

    Thank you, sir, I shall make a note never (ever) to watch said video.

    In the meantime, here are some Gwen facts! And they are real facts, not interweb ones.

    FACT! Her middle name, Renée, comes from The Four Tops' 1968 hit, "Walk Away Renée".

    FACT! Her dancers are all completely double jointed, so they can be folded into guitar cases for overseas flights, thus saving on air fares.

    FACT! Her husband was in the rankest RFPWDRLR (see elsewhere) band. Ever. And that includes Coldplay. [shudder]

    FACT! Every time Gwennie sings, a flower in Nepal dies. It's karma for every record Bush were allowed to make.

    FACT! 'Walk Away Renee' is fantastic. The original by the Left Banke is fantastic, the Four Tops version is fantastic, and the odd spoken-word version by Billy Bragg and Johnny Marr is fantastic. It's that kind of song.

    FACT! I quite liked 'Swallowed' by Bush, but otherwise I'm with you all the way. - Fraser]

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