Dec 022009

These days, one is hard-pressed to find a rock album that isn’t overly pop-ified or heavily laden with angstful lyrics. Yet, miraculously, amongst a chorus of American Idol winners and losers, and cookie cutter pop stars, The Gossip shines with it’s fourth album, Music For Men.

Music For Men, Gossip’s fourth album, opens with “Dimestore Diamond”. It is a down-and-dirty track that sounds like a throwback to their southern rock roots. The main difference is that now is the trio has a better production crew backing them up, thanks mostly to their transition to Sony’s Music With A Twist label, which concentrates on LGBT artists.

“Heavy Cross” was the first single from Music For Men, and serves as a nice seaway “8th Wonder”, which is the first time on this album the listener is treated to a taste of the visceral tones front woman Beth Ditto is capable of producing. What follows these first three tracks are a surprising and refreshing mix of songs that blend elements of pop, rock, disco, funk, and more.

The album begins to close out with “2012”, a song which starts out sounding like it would be right at home on a Pat Benetar album, but quickly transitions into the kind of hard and fast rock that is expected from The Gossip. Beth and her gang continue with the potential hits over the course of the remaining three songs, coming to a conclusion with “Spare Me From The Mold”, which is so strong and furious sounding it likely to leave the listener with a “wow” on their lips.

Gossip may have gone through a slight name change and a shift to a major label, but it’s clear that this innovative band’s creative integrity was never compromised. Even though Music For Men is a deviation from their usual sound, it somehow manages to fit right in alongside Gossip’s prior independent label releases. It’s like rock ‘n roll jungle juice that leaves you wondering how so many seemingly random ingredients came together to create something so wonderful.

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