Before No Doubt became a really crappy pop band, they were a pretty great ska band. No, really. Before Gwen Stefani remade herself as a crappy pop diva (Remember all that "Hollaback Girl" nonsense? I guess she foresaw the future of music in that it would be crappy, overly repetitive, hypersexual, and ultimately meaningless. Maybe she's smarter than I thought, but she's still a maker of horrible music) she was just the lead singer of a Southern California ska band that was almost as good as the very similar and somewhat superior Save Ferris. Tragic Kingdom is not quite a ska album and not quite a straightforward rock album. It's the sign of a band in transition. Nobody would've guessed that they were transitioning to a career in making pure crap-ola, but them's the breaks. This is a good album that provided Gwen Stefani the mainstream break she needed in order to turn into a dime-a-dozen blond girl who lip-syncs to bad music.