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 This may sound contrary to some of my recent rants on new celebrity moms, and I’ll probably take some flack for this post, but I can sympathize with Gwen Stefani.*  Her newest album, “The Sweet Escape” is reviewed in the December 4 New York Times, and well, the review ain’t that sweet. 

The critic, Jon Pareles, sets out to show that Stefani, after having her son
Kingston earlier this year, is a “hit making star and a new mother who only represents herself.”  One would usually think this would be a word of praise – a woman who’s found herself being a mom.  Not so much.  According to the critic, Stefani’s new album “repeats some of the old tricks with less flair.”  He goes on to say on the album she’s “either complaining or apologizing.”  Let’s just say the last word of the review is “whiny.”


Sound familiar? It does to me. Considering I’ve only been back to work 4 months since my son was born I can’t tell you the number of times I’ve apologized for not remembering what the latest industry “buzzword” is, complained about my poor- performing nanny or whined about how early my son gets up in the morning when I have to be “on” in the office all day.  Going back to work after baby is hard.  It’s all I can do to “repeat the old tricks” I remember from when I worked before I had baby.  I try to do it with more flair, but sometimes I fail. 


So why isn’t Stefani allowed to express her new mom frustrations through her music?  Does it make her music bad?  Can a man who’s never birthed a child adequately critique the tone and content of music of a new mother? I’m not sure I’m qualified to answer these questions since I’m not a music critic (clearly), but I’m pretty impressed that she was able to even put out an album a mere 6 months since her son was born.  So while Pareles may think Stefani’s latest album sounds “forced and secondhand,” she’s getting kudos from this new mom. You go Gwen!



* If you are wondering why all of a sudden I did an about face on this celeb-mom, I do think there is a distinct difference in between a NEW mom trying to make a comeback after her FIRST baby (Stefani) vs. an experienced mom changing gears in her career (Couric).  Maybe I’ll see it differently when my son is older.