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Byline: Patrick Ferrucci
Dec. 8--GWEN STEFANI -- "The Sweet Escape" (Interscope): On Gwen Stefani's debut solo album, 2004's "Love.Angel.Music. Baby.," there are enough cheeky and danceable moments to warrant a step away from her main project, No Doubt. But while the singer has always been known as a California ska-punk girl, the combination of "Love" and the new "The Sweet Escape" officially transforms Stefani into a dancehall diva, and a more popular solo artist.
But popular doesn't always mean good. "Love" features a few great tracks, and because those songs are so well done (especially the insanely catchy "Hollaback Girl"), it's easy to excuse how incredibly fake Stefani's persona seems, how calculated and manipulated the …