Gossip ‘Music For Men’ – Review

17 Jul

I’ve never been a big fan of Gossip, like most people I was familiar with thier breakthrough hit ‘Standing in the way of Control’ and am aware of Beth Ditto’s slightly weird celebrity status. I have to admit that ‘Music For Men’ is the first time I’ve listened to a full length album by the bad, and I am surprised to say I actually quite like it.

If you don’t like Gossip then this won’t change your mind, it never drifts too far from the ‘Standing in the way…’ formula. So expect big songs that start of quiet then get really loud, a disco punk vibe and lyrics about being ‘different’. This isn’t world changing stuff (though you get the impression they wan’t it to be), and it is not a classic album. But it is a fun and very listenable album, one that I wouldn’t mind listening to in my car, in my room or at a club. The through back disco style is a nice change of pace from many other pop albums of the year, and ‘Heavy Cross’ and ‘Vertical Rhythm’ are particularly great, although even these songs can’t quite touch ‘Standing in the way of Control.’

This would be a much better album if Gossip had the guts to cut this down to 9 or 10 tracks because as it stands the album is too long. And when all the songs sound essentially the same it can be tiresome at times. It’s not that there are any terrible songs (only because they are all too similar so you neither get an unexpected classic anymore than you get a big mistake) but there are a few that follow the formula less successfully, such as ‘love and let live’ which is a yawning cliche.

The production is crisp (as expected) and I suspect their sound is more refined and less adventurous (as expected) after a move to a major label. By the end you wonder if Gossip are a one trick pony but that is for them to dispel on another record. Nonetheless this is a good record, much better than I thought it would be.



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