Single Review: No Doubt “Hella Good”

Hella Good
Album: Rock Steady
Year: 2002

Gwen Stefani gets into the groove as she dances with a random hot guy at a dance club in the arresting pop of “Hella Good.”

The Neptunes-Tony Kanal-Stefani penned “Hella Good” opens with Stefani already on the dancefloor with the guy. She’s fallen hard and likes how he moves with her. She pulls him closer to her, wanting to see his eyes and other features. She coos for him to come over. (“The waves keep on crashing on me for some reason/But your love keeps on coming like a thunderbolt/Come here a little closer/’Cause I wanna see you, baby, real close up (Get over here”). Stefani’s panting can be heard in the background which adds to the lustful tone the song generates.

In the chorus, she tells him to keep dancing with her because he’s got her turned on. He knows where to place his hands and she doesn’t want to let go just yet. (“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”).

She compliments him on the way he dances. She didn’t think she would’ve hooked up with him and it’s unreal that she’s dancing with him now. She wants to take him home with her. (“A performance deserving of standing ovations/And who would have thought it’d be the two of us/So don’t wake me if I’m dreaming/’Cause I’m in the mood come on and give it up”).

The dance-pop style of single becomes more R&B/funk during the bridge as Stefani simply says “Ooh yeah yeah.” Then, it sounds like something is falling as the keyboard lingers on a note for a few seconds. Next, record scratching is added to Stefani’s panting. While all these sound effects may sound distracting, they actually keep the single going. They are short and blend well within the single.

After the chorus is she grunts a few times and tells him to “keep on dancing” again until the end. Her voice is made fuzzy and manipulated to match the guitars and other music.

“Hella Good” lives up to its title. For a group who hadn’t explored dance up until the album, they show an immediate knowledge of the style.

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