Sound — 10
Well, how could I possibly scratch the surface of The Gossip's sound? Frontwoman Beth Ditto (who I'm sure you've heard of at some point) is a larger than life character and part of the infamous Riot Grrl movement. Ditto commands your attention with her bellowing voice, which is truly remarkable. Imagine a punk Shirley Bassey, dressed in a dayglo cat suit. The Gossip are a joy to behold, punky beats mashing in with each other to create a blended sound to completely blow your mind.
Lyrics — 8
Ditto sings her songs with such passion and well, volume, that you feel completely immersed in her. The Gossip's songs are filled with tales of rebellion, loneliness and corruption, which will really get you bellowing along, be it in your living room or at one of their concerts. Ditto preaches to you with such lines as "In the end no one is innocent/Big or small, it makes no difference/Get up, stand up and hold your head up high". While these lyrics are the perfect rebellion, you feel that towards the end of the album they start to become a bit samey, although brilliant in the first place.
Overall Impression — 9
You'd have a tough time comparing The Gossip to any other bands right now in the music scene, although I saw a band recently called Fist Fite who seem to be emulating The Gossip's style. The album is very impressive as a whole, flitting from stomping party tunes (Standing In The Way of Control, easily one of the best songs of 2007) to sorrowful (Coal to Diamonds) and back again. I admit, if The Gossip didn't have Beth Ditto, we probably wouldn't know about them, as musically they are not the best band out there, but Ditto commands a presence of power and has a truly admirable confidence about her (at a festival in the summer of 2007 she told the crowd that she has "a big vagina"). You try going out to the world and having the balls to do something like that. Sterling performer.