Album Review

Music For Men

Music For Men

by Gossip

Sony Music
8 / 10
4th August 2009

Reviewed by Amanda Ratcliffe

Now, I thought they were relatively new to the people over here in New Zealand, but Portland act, Gossip are certainly no strangers to the indie rock scene with an impressive ten years under their belts already. The group have travelled all over to perform at some of the most well known festivals in the world and they’ve now released their surprising fourth album improbably titled Music For Men. Prior to this, the band had produced two live albums and four EPS along with their three other studio albums which have seen them grow increasingly popular over the years.

Not only have they been recognised for their outstanding musical achievements, but front-woman Beth Ditto has also received her fair share of the spotlight for her appearance and homosexuality, which ‘breaks every pop stars mould’. Extremely open and comfortable with her form, Ditto has posed nude for a bunch of photo shoots and simply lets it all ‘hang out’ on stage - a trait which has been unexpectedly accepted by fans and fellow musicians alike.

If you’re still unconvinced that Gossip is your new favourite band, I suggest tuning into any of the popular radio stations around the country to catch their first release off the album Heavy Cross. I doubt that it will take long before your feelings are transformed from uncertainty to love toward the unconventional group when you hear the Ditto belting out vocals that most people could only ever dream of. The first track on this disc named Dimestore Diamond is a favourite of mine with a live feel to it that you’d normally not get from a band so experienced.

8th Wonder and For Keeps take on the same approach which is probably the reason why I’ve put it on my play list for early morning concerts in the living room. Spare Me From The Mold reminds me a lot of New York punk rockers, Le Tigre with messy vocals that I imagine would be enough to make any dance floor go mental. From this it becomes pretty obvious to see how the threesome is so popular, but makes me question why it has taken them so long to reach my i-pod.

Excitable tracks Love Long Distance and Pop Goes The World are upbeat boasting a similar sound to the catchy tunes produced by the loveable Ting Tings. Anything this danceable is an instant hit in my books and clearly those of many others around the world who have embraced the band for all their differences over their impressive lifetime. I’d have to say the only disappointment that comes with this album is the booklet which doesn’t do anything to capture the creativity of the band. It’s dull with no pictures, but in saying that it does have the lyrics for ultimate karaoke enjoyment.

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