In a tye-dyed graffiti-style top and with sleeked back parted hair, Gwen Stefani took to her TikTok page a few days ago to join her other “weirdos and the freaks” as she adoringly calls her fans to participate in a blind ranking of her all-time hits.
These baddies ranged from shopaholics’ anthem ‘Rich Girl’ to what should play every time you see that ex who you would’ve lit their things on fire a few years ago but now surprisingly have a jar full of nice things to say about… you, know, you’re ‘Cool,’ right? It’s all to promote her newest hypnotic track ‘True Babe’ which, of course, claimed the first spot in her ranking as it should, but what about the others? Do we agree with her ranking? Hmm, perhaps not; there are some we’d happily switch around, so we’re going to!
Originally dating back to October 11, 2005, and found somewhere on her debut album Love Angel Music Baby. ‘Luxurious’ is claiming our ninth spot (yes, that’s right! We’re going backward in this ranking.) with its breezy rhythm and iconic lyrics such as “I only wanna fly first-class desires, you’re my limousine.” It’s either something we were too young to understand the lyrics of, so, therefore, our parents turned it off the second we tried to blast it out of the car’s speakers as we drove to school, or we sang our hearts out to a retro poster of our boy bander crushes behind our bedroom door, especially when Slim Thug’s part came on during the remix.
‘Wind It Up’
Okay, yeah, if you were staring at Gwen Stefani in utter disbelief at some of her ranking choices, then you’re most definitely going to be sending us some “????s” upon seeing where we’re putting ‘Wind It Up’ on this list, but that’s only because her discography is so full of bangers. Therefore, it’s coming in eighth! Before the Walmart kid made yodeling popular, Gwen was doing it. But it’s only when the trumpets come in around the 10-second mark that you know you’re in for a great time.
‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’
If we’re going to get technical, then ‘Let Me Blow Ya Mind’ is a Gwen Stefani feature, meaning that it’s on Eve’s YouTube page since it’s track four on her Scorpion album. However, it did win a Grammy for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration in 2011, so there’s that! We bet as soon as you hear the opening line of the chorus from our deciding seventh place (“If I had to give you more, it’s only been a year”), your memory banks will pick up on the rest!
‘What You Waiting For?’
Coming in at sixth, ‘What You Waiting For?’ starts with this beautiful acoustic moment, just Gwen’s vocals and the piano. It’s so ethereal that upon those first listening sessions of the track a moon or so ago, you would never think that the beat would come in like that until it does, and you want Gwen always to tell you the time with her repetitive “Tick-tock.” “Take a chance ’cause you might grow,” she suggests, and it’s duly noted.
We’re going to take a stab in the proverbial dark and say that you’re going to agree with us that this song deserves to be within the top five! Duh, it’s ‘Hollaback Girl.’ What else would it be? It starts with this foot-stomping melody that plays into its era with the cheerleading movie Bring It On, making it integral to their chants (and to round it off truly, it appeared on the soundtrack of Bring It On: All or Nothing!) In fact, it’s even got an associated lyric wedged in there with “That’s right, put your pom-poms downs / Getting everybody fired up.”
‘The Sweet Escape’
When we’re thinking of paradise, we’re making ‘The Sweet Escape’ to get there with our number four ranking! Everything about it is like returning home to the candy store you frequented as a kid, knowing that candy bar, whether from the hands of golden bar ticketed Willy Wonka or Bertie Bott’s, is ready for you to take a giant bite out of. We’re drooling already. One of our favorite parts about this track is Gwen’s pacing of words; some of them not following the long pronunciation but instead are so chopped up that we feel like we’re rapping.
Speaking of another Gwen Stefani track that would’ve made its way into every soundtrack known to man and every one of our Spotify vision boards, it’s our third favorite of the bunch ‘Rich Girl.’ As the title explains, it depicts hypothetical thinking of what one would do if their bank account suddenly overflowed. Eve even makes another appearance on this song during the bridge, giving it a giant spotlight, and adding so much flavor to its already saucy production.
This is where we and Gwen Stefani have a major disconnection because for her, ‘Cool’ sits at number eight, and for us, as you can see, it has number two bragging rights. We couldn’t possibly think of a track that comes nearly as close to perfection as this one does! From its haze-inducing intro caused by a synth to coming out of it when her vocals start, and the bass takes over. There’s a tension to it, sure. She’s accepted the present moment they’re currently in, admitting that “it’s such a miracle that you and me are still good friends.” But there’s also still that hard-cutting twinge of remembrance to the holy grail of what-ifs that come through in awe-grabbing lyrics like “We used to think it was impossible / Now you call me by my new last name.”
The one ranking that’s the same here compared to ours and Gwens is ‘True Babe,’ coming in at numero uno. The thing is, besides its more grown-up and country twist, it’s something that we think could be easily found coming out of early 2000s-Gwen’s studio, meaning that the melody has that lounging feel. The intro is still long, just a guitar this time, and her coming in with the opening line, “Your tattoo still looks cute to me,” lets us know that she’s drawn upon her muse, presumably husband Blake Shelton, to inspire her. “I wanna fly to your shows,” she admits, this time the pacing of her words being up the alleyway of ‘The Sweet Escape.’ “Wanna wake up in your clothes.” Until there’s a drawn-out “it’s alriiiiiight,” allowing the drums to interrupt the plucks of the guitar, drowning her momentarily out, just in time for the chorus.
“And we’re from two different worlds / But you still call me your pretty girl, pretty girl.”
The drums stick around from that point onwards, clicking us into this easy hip-shaking groove. Basically, she’s letting us know that she’s at peace. There will always be that The Sweet Escape part of her, but now instead of creeping past curfew by her lonesome, there’s someone there to do it with her. She makes that more known as the line “Yeah, it’s alright in my life” is repeated in the chorus, this time almost as an acapella as all instruments disappear. Oh, and if we’re looking for the lyric parallel to spell that out to us, we can find it within “You’re something sweet, something true, babe,” of course, zoning in on the “sweet.”
What does your official ranking look like? Does its order follow ours, or are there a few out of place? Whether you’ve done so already by uploading your beautiful face onto TikTok’s platform, hoping that one of the viewer’s faces lit up bright with Gwen’s, or only hearing about it now but want to join the trend, let us know your favorites too! You can do so by tweeting us at @thehoneypop! And if you need some thinking music, then ‘True Babe’ is right there.
We’re always in the mood to travel back to the early 2000s, a time of Britney Spears’s peak pop and Usher’s r&b, so take a scroll through our Facebook and Instagram pages, and maybe there’ll be another article about music throwing back to that particular time period.