Daily Archives: June 23, 2010

348. Gossip – “Music for Men”

This whole report-writing caper has certainly suffered in the face of the Gossip onslaught.

Their most recent long-player is a more coherent, almost seamless collection than SITWOC. I have been transported toa diva-rrific world of pounding drums, soaring vocals and anthems for empowerment of all kinds.

Beth Ditto’s voice is utilised even more effectively here.  She really knows how to make a lyric, well…sing.  Her ooo-ooohs and “cruel worlds” on Heavy Cross it is pretty irresistable stuff:

That track is probably the most electro on the album (i.e. there isn’t quite as much of that ‘jigger, jigger’ sound elsewhere).

Again, the trio deliver song after song that would have me jumping around if I saw them live (my missus had the good fortune of catching them in Adelaide earlier this year and is still raving) and heading to the dancefloor if I ventured anywhere that’d spin these tunes.  The opener Dime Store Diamond, Four Letter Word and Love Long Distance all get my heart rate leaping.

Just remind me to play this album somewhere other than my office in future.

File under: Not music for productivity

347. Gossip – “Standing in the Way of Control”

I can’t recall a more impressive break-through single this decade than the title track of this album.

It blasted out of the radio sounding like some mad scientist had concocted a musical beastie with one part Pat Benatar to two parts Aretha Franklin over a bouillabaisse of post-punk, disco and electro-rock (or something like that):

Any album with such a powerful headline track was going to pale in comparison. But the band do a good job of trying to keep up. The pace is unrelenting. The beats come thick and fast, as do the riffs (guitar and keys). Fire with Fire and Coal to Diamonds are particularly strong tracks, while Yr Mangled Heart is only a strong chorus away from topping the title effort.

This is NOT good office background music. I have struggled with writing this consulting report as Beth and co keep distracting me. I feel some ‘Flashdance’-like compulsion to dance.

Indeed, that may be the best description of the band’s sound. They should be penning ’80s soundtracks aplenty.

File under: Control is in trouble