GOSSIP Music For Men (Columbia)
In case you’re still unaware of Beth Ditto, here’s the 411: She’s a rotund American songstress, champion of LGBT rights, and positive body image advocate, who, somewhere between these social undertakings, happens to be the vocalist of indie-rock darlings Gossip — a band you really need to know by now.
I know what you must be thinking. “Oh lord, not another one of those bands.”
Let me assure you, Gossip’s music is far from self-indulgent, in fact it is exceedingly compelling, particularly on their latest offering… and I don’t mean that in a lookit-the-queer-band sense of the word.
Music For Men is essentially a distilled version of Gossip’s body of work so far. That is to say, an amalgamation of punk attitude, soul-sista pipes, and jaunty indie-rock stylings, accompanied by a frenzied cornucopia of drums laid down by seemingly tireless hands. Not bad, considering that four albums on, Gossip (albeit with the loss of earlier-incarnation prefix “The”) have managed to retain a distinct sound that most other trios spend a large part of their career trying to achieve. All without losing much in the way of momentum, I might add.
The most aurally apparent observation one might draw from initial spins of the record is how polished it sounds, even though the vocals melody and rhythms register as oddly disjointed. There is a method to Gossip’s madness, one that lends itself to instantaneous identification upon consideration of the entire piece of music. It’s as if the band have reached a common consensus to steamroller through their convictions as a unified front, with their constituent idiosyncrasies providing the ruffled, worn-in character so often associated with some of the finest music ever made.
Gratifying, if I do say so myself. It’s refreshing to see a band that can truly stick to its guns. Highly recommended listening.
Check out Gossip’s Myspace page.