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4.4 out of 5 stars33
4.4 out of 5 stars
Format: Audio CD|Change
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Gossip is a band. That's the main message here. A manifesto.

Ms Ditto has been clear in recent interviews that it's not
all about her. An impressive black and white portrait of
stunningly androgynous drummer Ms Billie gets the front page.
The symbolically/symbiotically cloned Paine/Ditto image, however,
is relegated to the backside but bears clear witness to their long
friendship and increasingly fruitful musical collaboration.

2006's breakthrough album 'Standing In The Way Of Control' paved
the way - 'Music For Men' takes a winning formula and pushes it
further with even greater clarity and energy.

In no small measure the vivid realisation of these 12 new songs
(+ 2 remixes) succeeds due to Mr Rubin's masterful production.

He brings out the best in all three band members.
Ms Ditto has never sounded better. Her unique and instantly
recognisable voice (with its wonderfully wayward tendencies)
has greater power and focus than ever before.

Mr Paine and Ms Billie provide solid support throughout
but we are left in little doubt, despite their best intentions
to persuade us, that Ms Ditto is indisputably the star of the show.

....and what a great show it is !!

From the four-square blues stomp of opening track 'Dimestore Diamond'
to the post-post-punk rollicking ride of 'Spare Me From The Mold'
( with Mr Nielsen's silly sax adding to the mayhem ) we know we are
in the presence of a great little band firing on all six cylinders.

There's no waste here. It's all good. It doesn't let up for a moment.
'Men In Love', 'Heavy Cross' and 'Four Letter Word', with its
grungy synthesiser arrangement, are all standout tracks.

Finely honed, consumately executed, elemental rock
played straight from the heart. Truly stonking stuff!

Highly Recommended.
0Comment|11 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on 31 July 2009
This was my first gossip cd, after being encouraged to listern to them by a very good friend. The album is absolutely brilliant, this is the first time I have bought a cd, and loved every track. It is punchy, and exciting, and I was able to let my daughter listern to it with me without censoring it due to swearing. ( she loved it to). I would recommend the gossip to anyone, and have now bought two of there other albums tonight.
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on 28 July 2009
Very good LP. Five or more songs are potential hits (but not as radio friendly as the hit "Standing on the way of Control" of the precedent studio album). Only a couple of songs are weak. The unique destabilising point is the uniformity of the album: a bit more bluesy, slightly less punk than the precedent studio record. So it needs several listenings to really appreciate it. But then, one starts enjoying again the deep voice of Beth Ditto, the bass, the drums, the lyrics, the nudity of the songs, the discrete creative musical add-ons and find him(her)self wondering if finally this album is not even better than the previous one. One thing for sure: it will last.
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on 22 June 2009
Love her or hate her it can't be denied that Beth Ditto is a force of nature and a track like `Standing in the Way of Control' emphasises this in dramatic style. Her demanding vocals drove thousands of people to ecstasy when it was rereleased in 2007, propelling it to #7 in the UK charts. Now The Gossip return with first major label album `Music for Men', released on Music With a Twist (Sony Music Label Group). So has the move to a major done them any good? Well quite simply yes. The music is calmer, more minimalist and generally more focused. Generally it is a more appealing sound for a wider audience. This isn't to say that they have lost their dramatic edge just that it has become more restrained and better focused.

This album sees The Gossip using more open arrangements which allow you to hear the intricacies and clever touches which were in some cases lost on the previous album. Beth's voice is much calmer and more tuneful. The half shout technique has disappeared from her repertoire, and it's a good thing. If she were to use it over these more stripped back arrangements then it would feel too over the top and forced. One exception is 8th Wonder which builds towards the end of the track to rolling drum and guitar sections as well as Beth's unmistakable vocal shout. This will be a live favourite. The vocals instead are well pitched with more sweeps and general diversity. The real quality of her voice comes out. There are some clever touches in the lyrics as well such as in `Love Long Distance' where Beth seamlessly drops in a little bit of Marvin Gaye's `Heard it Through the Grape Vine', and `2012' steals the hook from Kiss' track `I Was Made for Loving You Baby' with different lyrics carefully grafted to that amazing tune.

There is a distinct 80s influence running through the whole of this album. Little synth lines can be found to varying degrees in most tracks. In `Pop Goes the World' the synth creates a dancy little lead line guaranteed to make you smile, where as `Four Letter Word' sees it used to accent the gaps between Beth's vocals creating a flow to the song that really grabs your attention. The movement from that track to `Spare Me From the Mold' is a clever transition as well. The use of a squealing trumpet on the latter also helps to push the track into a twisted frenzy.

There are just so many good moments throughout this album that will guarantee The Gossip's success this year. This album is a fantastic combination of calm pop music (`Love Long Distance'), dance (`Heavy Cross') and a mild dose of rock (`Vertical Rhythm'), oh and a healthy dose of pure originality. Be ready to dance your feet off when these tracks hit clubs. Whoever you are, you won't be able to resist.
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on 18 January 2013
Heavy Cross was always featured in the brief clips of the band on the festival circuit a few years back. Since the album was now rock-bottom price, why not add to the collection. As with most albums, from any band, you are lucky to get 2/3 tracks that really appeal, and tend to skip the rest? In this case HC is the stand-out, therefore making it the bench mark for the remainder. In my opinion they don't quite get there, although the album as a whole is quite listenable, without skipping tracks. I don't know how far this band can go, but overall I prefer the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, in comparison.
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on 22 June 2009
Gossip, formerly "The Gossip" return after there aclaimed album "Standing in the Way of Control" which only seemed to gain a following after the title track being use on "Skins" - following this, powerhouse Beth went on the celebrity circuit, appearing in numerous daily rags in skimpy clothing, talking about eating squirrels on talk shows and doing the various music venues with gusto...

I feared that when Gossip finally returned with their next album they would have succumbed to music execs and would have tamed their rock roots. Thank god I'm wrong - a worthy return and worth buying the album for "Heavy Cross" alone, something to fill the stereo until Florence and the Machine finally hit the scene.
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on 30 March 2016
I must admit I was a little disappointed with this album.I absolutely love Beth Ditto and I love the driving baseline and and kind of punk/funk feel to some of Beth Ditto songs/Gossip songs and her voice is amazing but apart from a few tracks I did not feel this album is one I'll play again ad again.It does not really stand up to tracks like Standing in the way of control.
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on 5 November 2009
Saw Gossip at Reading 2009 and thought they were an awesome live band - Beth has SO MUCH energy on stage!

As is always the case the energy doesn't come across quite as well on a studio album but that doesn't detract from the experience.

...... and to think I had to be dragged to the tent by my girlfriend as I didn't think I would like them!
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on 30 December 2011
I originally purchased this album some time ago but it was the version without the re-mix, anyway, it went missing, I turned the place upside down but couldn't find it. When I saw the new Dior advert with Heavy Cross as the music I just had to buy a replacement and with a bit of research got the version with the re-mix, well worth it.
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on 2 April 2013
Having heard one song from this band on tv, was so impressed with, decided to buy the album. Was not disappointed - this is a great album and has many catchy, easy to sing-along-to songs.
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