THE VOICE -- "Live Show" Episode 713C -- Pictured: Gwen Stefani -- (Photo by: Trae Patton/NBC/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)
NBC—NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images
By Eliza Berman
November 24, 2014

Last month, after an eight-year hiatus from releasing new solo material, Gwen Stefani debuted “Baby Don’t Lie” to mixed reviews. Where “Baby Don’t Lie” was more reminiscent of her work with No Doubt, her latest effort, “Spark the Fire,” sounds much more like a Gwen Stefani tune, a la 2005’s “Hollaback Girl.”

In “Spark the Fire,” produced by Pharrell, Stefani raps more than she sings. Percussion-heavy and danceable, the song offers little in the way of melody, save for the intro and the 15-second bridge. Though it’s more repetitive and packs less oozing attitude than “Hollaback Girl,” it should serve the club nearly as well; lyrically, it’s a party pump-up jam (“Who got the lighter? Let’s spark the fire”), though Stefani does manage to imbue the message with an ounce of girl power for good measure: “It is time for the girl species to grow…I am a Libra, let’s balance the scales.”

Stefani is currently prepping the release of her third solo album.

Write to Eliza Berman at eliza.berman@time.com.

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