Sound — 8
Gossip's stead of dance-spruced punk produces hybrids embossed with sizzling electro-pop spoilers relatable to Lady Gaga with pulleys of wrought-iron punk grooves reminiscent of Sleater-Kinney and holstering vocals that have the sassy springs of Kristina DeBarge and confidant jabs wielding Aretha Franklin's gusto. Gossip's latest release, Music For Me, is club-oriented pop bowed in spurs of Beth Ditto's velvet-cloth vocals that reveal muscle tissue beneath her soft demeanor. Brace Paine's guitar playing provides the accelerant for the electro-pop flames as the quaking thumps of drummer Hanna Billie magnify the notches along the joints in the tracks. Produced by Rick Rubin, Music For Men is an album for the club set saddling a trendy nouveau-pop cache. The tracks trade off between being cast in a Brit-pop armor with spikes of techno-doused Euro flares liken to Alison Moyet, and a soul-funk vibe that recalls of The Scissor Sisters. The new wave spores sporting Heavy Cross have a soul-pop sparkle, while the rash striking of the drums in 8th Wonder is sprigged with slugs of guitar flusters moving at ramming speed injecting a punk-essence into the track. The diva-like swagger of Ditto's vocals in Dimestore Diamond enhance the funky palpitations, and the tapping bass beats and jostling piano keys in the rhythm patterns of Love Long Distance pump up the club-imbued torches in the track. The calypso-bent in the percussive beats of Pop Goes The World promulgate jubilant lifts, and the dance-funk decibels of Vertical Rhythm recall of 80s new wavers Bronski Beat. The gypsy-draped banging in the rhythmic timing of 2012 activate the parrying mechanism in the jagged cuts, and the racing drum beats of Spare Me From The Mold are layered in entangling guitar vines which build up into blustery torrents that recede along opening in the folds. Music For Men dishes up tracks with a dance-glossed punk that adheres to all the modern pop trends set to electro-pop preferences and pop culture likings.
Lyrics — 8
The lyrics lay the cards on the table like in Love Long Distance when Ditto confronts, I need more of your assistance now / Breaking up or breaking down / When I need you, you can't be found / I want someone who's around for me / Doesn't have to be so complicated stop playing with me. Ditto sings with conviction which gives the songs character like in Love And Let Love when she expresses, I have visions of us but not with me / You know it's not like us to disagree / You'll get the point eventually. The lyrics are easy to follow even when the emotions get tangled and sear into the melodic fabric like a hot-iron pressed onto the skin.
Overall Impression — 8
Gossip's album, Music For Men is predictable in that dozens of modern-pop/techno-biceped artists are recording similar tracks to these, but what keeps Gossip on the fringes of nouveau-pop is Ditto's lightning-rod vocal thrusts and the trio's punk-wrenched guitar spikes and fireballs of rhythmic jolts. Gossip are hot and they have reached a new peak with Music For Men from the launch position of their debut album Standing In The Way Of Control, but whether the trio can sustain this position remains unseen. Their songs live in the moment, and that moment is filled with living life to the fullest. For now, Gossip are still filling their flask of dance-pop tonics and making the most of them.