Single Review: No Doubt “It’s My Life”

It’s My Life
Album: The Singles 1992 – 2003
Year: 2003

The 80s are back. “Friends” is flashing back for an episode, with the characters in teased and Flock of Seagulls hair. Jennifer Lopez remade the last five minutes of “Flashdance” for a music video. No Doubt’s contribution to the trend: a cover of Talk Talk’s “It’s My Life.”

As reported by MTV.com , No Doubt chose the song over a hundred others and finally decided on “It’s My Life.” The reason: “because it’s a feel good song.” Obviously, they only listened to the chorus and cheered, “This is a great hook! Yeah, it’s my life!”

Gwen Stefani also says that they were thinking “’let’s just do something that’s fun and easy, why do we also have to like, torture ourselves.” Their laziness shows. The instrumentals are changed slightly, but not dramatically. The new wave elements have been taken out and replaced by upbeat guitars and drums. The lighthearted tone, however, is the biggest change. The verses have a romantic feel now while the chorus has a girl-power vibe to it.

Gwen Stefani is teasing and flirty as she sings, but she is hard to understand as she mumbles her way through the song. It’s noticeable during the first verse when she sings “one half won’t do.” By the bridge when she sings, “What good do you do?” she sounds like a whiny girlfriend whose not getting what she wants. Here, the cheerful tone does not fit solemn lyrics the most. If they had changed the style to rock, it would have worked better.

It is a misguided cover, however, it could’ve been worse. Imagined if they had covered The Cure’s “Love Song.” By their estimations, it would’ve been sentimental and schmaltzy. Thankfully, they chose an obscure song people could discover after hearing their version.

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