Crash (Gwen Stefani song)
|Single by Gwen Stefani|
|from the album Love. Angel. Music. Baby.|
|Released||January 24, 2006|
|Recorded||2004; Kingsbury Studios
(Los Feliz, Los Angeles, California)
|Gwen Stefani singles chronology|
"Crash" is a song by American singer-songwriter Gwen Stefani, taken from her debut studio album, Love. Angel. Music. Baby. (2004). Written by Stefani and Tony Kanal, the song uses automobile metaphors to describe a relationship, and it received mixed reviews from critics. Not originally planned as a single, the song was released as the album's sixth and final single in early 2006 during Stefani's pregnancy.
Background and writing
Stefani had been working on her solo project with Linda Perry. The two penned several songs, including lead single "What You Waiting For?", but Stefani found the process difficult, commenting, "It's humiliating and intimidating even if they're sweet and excited, because you're drowning in their creativity." When the two began working on a song about a deceased friend of Stefani's, Perry began writing the lyrics and Stefani, feeling that Perry was encroaching on her territory, broke down and left.
The song has an automobile theme.
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Stefani's No Doubt bandmate Tony Kanal invited her to his house so that the two could go out with friends. When she arrived, however, Kanal surprised her by playing some tracks on which he had been working and revealed that he had prepared some for Stefani. Though Stefani had wanted to work with Kanal, she was concerned that his work would not fit with her dance-oriented album; however, she called it her "favorite track that [she had] written so far", and the two worked on the track, modeling it after hip hop trio Salt-n-Pepa.
"Crash" received mixed reviews from critics. In a review for The New York Times, Kelefa Sanneh noted that the track "successfully conjure[s] up the infectious spirit of early Madonna." David Browne of Entertainment Weekly called the song "a pricey retro fashion blurb" on which Stefani appears as "an old-school, gold-chained rapper". Krissi Murison of the NME disagreed, calling it one of "the best bits of the decade of decadence" and referring to it as "Salt-N-Pepa's cartoon rap". Jason Shawhan of About.com stated that the song's "great Narada Michael Walden bleepy synth noises [...] pop out of the mix like the car stereo just decided to sing along", and Jennifer Nine of Yahoo! Music commented that the track had "icy-cool schoolyard sass". Eric Greenwood of Drawer B argued that the track "carelessly revisits Stefani's blatant fondness for 80's pop, but not even [...] Tony Kanal can save her from lifeless retreads like these." The Washington Post reviewer Sean Daly compared it to Salt-n-Pepa's 1987 single "Push It" and added that Stefani "pushes it real good". PopMatters's Jason Damas gave it a very strong review, stating that "Stefani nails all the vocal mannerisms" and that Kanal "reveals a major mainstream pop jones here, especially in the way he layers the cut [...] with dozens of orchestra hits [...] which have been absent from almost all pop albums for a decade or more now." Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine gave the song a mixed review, stating that it "features some near-fatal car metaphors" but that Stefani "maintains her signature sass throughout".
Release and commercial performance
"Crash" had originally not been planned as a major single release from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. In late 2005 Stefani announced that she was pregnant (while performing the song on tour in Fort Lauderdale, Florida) and would be delaying her second solo album, and the song was announced as the sixth single in January 2006. It impacted US mainstream radio on January 24, 2006. Because "Crash" was released as the sixth single, success was very limited since many consumers had already purchased the album, which at the time had been certified triple platinum in both the US and Canada. It debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 on February 11, 2006 at number ninety-five. It reached number forty-nine for two weeks and remained on the chart for a total of eight weeks. The single was somewhat more successful on the pop charts, reaching number twenty on the Top 40 Mainstream and number twenty-eight on the Pop 100, and had some crossover success, reaching number thirty-eight on the Rhythmic Top 40.
"Crash" was the only single from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. that did not receive a CD single solicitation in Canada; in addition, the track experienced minimal radio success, peaking at number eighty-seven on the BDS Airplay Chart in March 2006.
Because of Stefani's pregnancy, a live music video was released instead of a narrative video. The video was directed by Sophie Muller at a performance in Anaheim, California during Stefani's Harajuku Lovers Tour.
- US 12" promo single
- A1. "Crash" (Album Version) – 4:06
- B1. "Crash" (Instrumental) – 4:05
- B2. "Crash" (A Cappella) – 4:06
- European promo CD single
- "Crash" (Album Version) – 4:06
Credits adapted from Love. Angel. Music. Baby. album liner notes.
- Gwen Stefani – lead vocals
- Lee Groves – keyboards, mix programming
- Rob Haggett – second assistant engineer
- Tony Kanal – producer, programming, keyboards, synthesizers
- Colin "Dog" Mitchell – engineer
- Mark "Spike" Stent – mixing
- David Treahearn – assistant engineer
|US Billboard Hot 100||49|
|US Pop 100||28|
|US Rhythmic Top 40||38|
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