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Gossip Is Good For You
on 22 June 2009
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!