Gossip, Music for Men

Gossip, Music for Men

I’ve heard a lot about indie dance-punk band Gossip (formerly known as The Gossip) for some time, but never gave them a listen until 2009’s Music for Men. The album is the band’s fourth studio album and has sold over one million copies worldwide since its release last June. And after listening to it, it’s no surprise the album’s sold that many copies.

One of the things that stuck out to me most about the album and left me awestruck was singer Beth Ditto’s soulful, powerful voice. There’s no mistaking that she is one talented vocalist, and her voice helps give the band its distinct sound. She has one of the strongest voices of any singer in any band that I know of. Add in the heavy dance groove and pounding drums, and you’ve got something truly unique and fun. The first time I listened to the album, I was honestly blown away by its beauty, emotion, and power to capture my attention.

There is so much heart, emotion, and attitude in the band’s lyrics on Music for Men and in Ditto’s vocals. The album is full of songs about heartache and being fed up with love. Listeners will immediately connect with Ditto and the rest of her bandmates and really feel her pain and whatever other emotions she is singing of. The lyrics for “Love Long Distance” are the perfect example of the band’s heartfelt songwriting:

    Call yourself a romantic, let me explain
    Been across the whole Atlantic and back again
    I had it with your antics, your childish games, Baby
    I call your number twice but it rang and rang
    Against my best friends advice I should be ashamed
    (You) Did it to me once, you’ll do it again, so she says
    Love long distance is testing me trying my patience
    I need more of your assistance now

Music for Men is somewhat reminiscent of ’90s dance bands like C+C Music Factory and Real McCoy, adds elements of modern indie experimental bands like Yeasayer, and mixes those with powerful vocals similar to the likes of Cher, Patti LaBelle, and even Cyndi Lauper at times.

The album is full of gems, and overall, it’s extremely loud and dance-heavy, full of synth-rock songs combined with Ditto’s soulful voice. It’s really quite incredible. I don’t know how other Gossip albums compare, but this one is great and completely different from anything else out there right now. “Four Letter Word,” “Heavy Cross,” “Love and Let Love,” and “Pop Goes the World” are just some of the many great tracks on the album.

“8th Wonder” is one of the tracks with the most emotion, as Ditto screams the lyrics at times — as if merely singing them isn’t enough — and “Spare Me From the Mold” is a very punk-influenced track, ending the album with a bang and bringing in that punk rock element the band is known for. This is seriously one album you don’t want to miss out on.

(Columbia Records -- 550 Madison Ave., 24th Floor, New York, NY. 10022; http://www.columbiarecords.com/; Gossip -- http://www.gossipyouth.com/)
BUY ME: Amazon

Review by . Review posted Thursday, June 24th, 2010. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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