Interscope - 2004 - 52 minutes

Her band No Doubt have always had a gift for great singles, but a great album has always been beyond them. Fitting in a way, then, that Gwen Stefani's solo debut should be a great album full of great singles - from start to finish.

At 35, having made four No Doubt records and with her collaboration with Eve on 'Let Me Blow Ya Mind' nearly four years ago, no-one could accuse Stefani of being opportunistic about a solo career. Yet the longer you listen to 'Love Angel Music Baby' the more you wonder why it took her so long.

But how the wait has been worth it - magpie-ing every piece of sonic cool from the 1980s up to the present day, she's made one of the great pop albums of that time frame. It's top heavy with producers and guests but, bizarrely, they all just add to the head chef's flavour.

If 2004 has been Stefani's year (her LAMB fashion label, playing Jean Harlow in Martin Scorsese's 'The Aviator' and of course this album), she should be breathless with excitement about just what these songs will bring her in 2005. At this rate, you'll be able to see her star from space.

Harry Guerin

Tracklisting: What You Waiting For? - Rich Girl featuring Eve - Hollaback Girl - Cool - Bubble Pop Electric featuring Johnny Valentine - Luxurious - Harajuku Girls - Crash - The Real Thing - Serious - Danger Zone - Long Way to Go performed by Gwen Stefani and Andre 3000 - Bonus tracks: The Real Thing
(Wendy & Lisa Stew & Jam Mix) - What You Waiting For (Elevator Mix)