The Gossip : Music For Men

MI0000918706ALBUM OF THE WEEK

On their previous album (Standing In The Way Of Control), The Gossip proved that they could grind out some energetic rock tunes. Beth Ditto clearly has an impressive set of lungs. But, for this Arkansas-based band, they were a bit rough around the edges. They managed to garner some attention in Europe and on college radio with the title track and (to a lesser extent) a few follow-up singles.

But when it came to recording their 2nd LP, the band moved to Portland, signed with Columbia Records and snagged the legendary Rick Rubin to produce. The results are spectacular! Rick manages to distill the power and grit of the band while allowing Beth’s phenomenal voice to shine through. Of course there is some polish here, but it doesn’t smooth out all of the rough-edges that make this band the gem that they are. Instead, they come across as the “Dimestore Diamond” they sing about in their opening track: distinguishing themselves from the crowd without losing any of their credibility.

Standout single “Heavy Cross” was a top ten smash hit in Australia, throughout Europe & on the US Dance charts. Astonishingly, though, it never dented the US Pop or Alternative charts even though it was prominently featured in a Dior television commercial. But this is no one-hit wonder. In fact every song could’ve worked as a single – there is not a hint of filler in this set. With vocals simultaneously recalling Janis Joplin and Donna Summer, this album is equally appealing to rockers, as well as fans of alternative and dance-pop. A must-buy!

[ review by Bangwave’s Tom Stark ]

TRACKLIST (favorites in bold)

  1. Dimestore Diamond
  2. Heavy Cross
  3. 8th Wonder
  4. Love Long Distance
  5. Pop Goes The World
  6. Vertical Rhythm
  7. Men In Love
  8. For Keeps
  9. 2012
  10. Love And Let Love
  11. Four Letter Word
  12. Spare Me From The Mold
  13. Breakdown
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