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Don't Let It Go Away
in which I am very forgetful
Artist: No Doubt
Album: Return of Saturn
In my Notes app, there’s a folder with notes on all the songs that I consider writing about in this newsletter. Sometimes the notes are sprawling and comprehensive, practically a first draft. Sometimes they’re incredibly sparse, no more than a word or two. The notes for “New” read:
Forgotten. Great. Cinematic.
That was it. Not exactly Lester Bangs. Also, not exactly accurate? Admitting that Tragic Kingdom is chock-full of classics,1 Return of Saturn is the No Doubt album that I spin most frequently, and, for the last twenty-ish years, every time I came up on “New,” I had roughly those thoughts. Forgotten. Great. Cinematic. Well, it’s certainly a great song and there’s a pretty easy case to be made that it’s cinematic: “New” was written for and used in the 1999 film Go. It was also a top-10 alt-radio hit and was eventually released as a playable track for both Guitar Hero and Rock Band. That’s not exactly the definition of “forgotten,” unless you count me forgetting all of that success, which I absolutely did.
For two decades I marveled at this presumed deep cut that was so punchy and hook-laden and infectious, and I despaired that it was only known to those of us who kept listening to an album that had become a largely forgotten millennial relic. Except, ahem, I was wildly wrong about all of that. “New” had been huge! I was obsessed with music culture when “New” was in the zeitgeist, so how did I forget everything about it? I mean, I’m kind of an oblivious idiot, that’s how. So, yeah, “New” is a lot of things, but it is absolutely not forgotten. And now I can’t stop wondering: What other cultural moments have I forgotten? And when will I re-learn the truth?
I’ll let you know when I find out.
I give “New” four out of five stars.2
“Spiderwebs,” “Just a Girl,” “Sunday Morning,” “Don’t Speak,” and “Tragic Kingdom” all on one album! What absolutely killer cuts.
My memory gets one out of five stars.