The Sweet Escape is the second solo effort by the pop-rock singer Gwen Stefani. Released in December 2006, it is the follow-up album to the enormously successful 2004 release Love.Angel.Music.Baby. that sold 3.7 million copies.
How do you follow up that kind of success with a second effort? Chances are you don’t! What one needs to do is create a good solid album. Something that you want to make - The Sweet Escape is this kind of album.
Originally Stefani did not want to do another solo effort. In fact, she has been working out with No Doubt but she had some tracks leftover from the L.A.M.B. sessions that she wanted to release. She took the tracks, which include "Wonderful Life" and created a different style of CD then her last one.
There will be many who feel that she is moving too far off the road that created her success, but sometimes the lack of change is what keeps an artist from being who they are and becoming something that their fans think that they should be. It is easy for a follow up to be nothing more than a rehash of the same material that created the previous success, The Sweet Escape is not a redux.
The down side with creating a fresh start is that you will have many fans who will want to downgrade the performances and down grade the album. To give this album its do, one has to come to it on its own merits and not strictly compare it to L.A.M.B.
Does The Sweet Escape stand on its own? I think that it does. On the first track, “Wind it Up,” she yodels to The Sound of Music tune “The Lonely Goatherd” –which by the way is a strange little ditty that I really like. It is part excitement, part clunky and really addictive. It harks back the L.A.M.B. album but is still different.