Wednesday, May 07, 2008

Songs About Dancing (2): Hella Good

Hella Good by No Doubt (2001) is one of the many songs which command the listener to dance. In fact the oft-repeated chorus simply affirms 'You've got me feeling hella good, So let's just keep on dancing, You hold me like you should, So I'm gonna keep on dancing'.

Of course anybody can sing that, but for the song to work the music must also communicate a similar message. On this one the production ensures just that with an irresistable electronic bass line. And so it should, co-written with The Neptunes and produced by Nellee Hooper. If they and Gwen Stefani can't come up with a decently danceable track between them all is lost on planet pop.

Some people might have Gwen Stefani down as just another corporate pop puppet, but I've always thought that she and No Doubt were pretty clued up musically - after all they started off as a ska band, and the album this track comes from, Rock Steady, also includes dancehall influences and an appearance by Bounty Killer. Also the video enacts one of my favourite fantasies - squatting a ship.

I first heard this years ago at the Laban Centre for Contemporary Dance in Deptford, where a big group of kids were doing modern dance to this track and to the Laban's very impressive PA.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, Gwen Stefani has a liking for dancehall and obviously strong sympathies for grime. She got the OK in my book for adding M.I.A. to her tour way back in 2005 and generally being good pals with Maya afterwards. The 2007 Stefani tour included Lady Sovereign - another grime connection, and pretty cool compared to most corporate pop folk - at least by my strange standards.