This is Gwen Stefani's first solo album. It was first released in Italy on November 12, 2004, with the American release coming 11 days later. It has sold over seven million copies worldwide.
The songs on the album are designed to sound like 1980's tracks, with The Cure, Depeche Mode, Cyndi Lauper, and Madonna being cited as influences.
Reception to the album was mostly positive (with a 71 out of 100 Metacritic average); however, Stefani received much controversy as, throughout the music videos for all songs on this album as well as other promotional materials, she was accompanied by four Asian women who she dubbed her "Harajuku Girls" (and who are the stars of the track of the same name); "Love", "Angel", "Music", and "Baby" were their stage names. The way in which the women accompanied her was seen as creepy, objectifying, and racist by critics, most notably stand-up comedian Margaret Cho. Despite this, the album was nominated for six Grammys, but didn't win any.
The Girls continued to appear alongside Stefani through at least "The Sweet Escape". Three of the Girls also appeared in "Settle Down", a 2012 song No Doubt made when they got back together. Maya "Love" Chino danced for BoA before joining Stefani, while Rino "Music" Nakasone went on to choreograph the dance routines for a few Girls' Generation tracks.
Stefani's "Harajuku Lovers Tour" in 2005, and subsequent DVD, "Harajuku Lovers Live", consists mostly of music from this album. Stefani's fashion line, L.A.M.B., also derives its name from this album.
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