- Audio CD (22 Jun. 2009)
- Number of Discs: 1
- Format: CD
- Label: Sony Music
- ASIN: B002BEXEWY
- Other Editions: Audio CD | Vinyl | MP3 Download
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (34 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 37,740 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)
Music For Men CD
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Originally formed by vocalist Beth Ditto, guitarist Brace Paine and drummer Hannah Billie in 1999 in Olympia, Washington, Gossip is a hybrid of soul, gospel, rock, funk, disco, punk, passion and rebellion. This three piece from Portland, Oregon first garnered attention in the UK with the release of the breakthrough album Standing In The Way Of Control in 2006. The band is led by the inimitable Beth Ditto – larger than life, forthright, rebel rousing and infectious. Beth's vocals have been compared to such legends as Janis Joplin, Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner although her and the band's sound is uniquely their own. Recorded at the historic Shrangri La Studios in Malibu, Music For Men completely captures Beth Ditto’s powerful vocals and the Gossips fiery sound. Beth Ditto continues to pick up accolades across the globe, from topping the NME annual cool list to becoming an unsuspecting fashion icon landing major magazine covers around the world.
Music For Men is produced by multi Grammy Award-winner Rick Rubin.
Gossip's latest album is set to reinforce the band's reputation as a fierce rock 'n' roll trio and improve Beth Ditto's already respected standing as a killer frontwoman.
More importantly for the band, Music For Men will finally persuade critics that they're capable of more than one terrific single.
Brilliant gay rights anthem Standing In The Way Of Control has left a long shadow, but with legendarily reductive producer Rick Rubin at the helm the killer tunes occur far more frequently on this fourth album than they have before.
After a killer mood-setting start with Dimestore Diamond's sleazy bass wobble and Beth's petulantly seductive croon, this record is a defiant, solidly entertaining work.
Ditto is a proud, smartly mischievous personality and in a fair world these songs, which seem a clear extension of her character, would make Gossip far more feted.
Particular stand-outs on MFM include moments such as when a sharp, staccato Queens Of The Stone Age sharp, staccato riff is channelled effectively by guitarist Bruce Paine for the scathing 8th Wonder and the incongruous Love Long Distance.
The latter tempers St Etienne/Pet Shop Boys piano riffage with a disco beat and synths, while Ditto has never sounded cooler than when she semi-quotes Marvin Gaye with the knowing line, ''I heard it through the bassline that much longer would you be my baby''. On this evidence Gossip could easily make an album of old-skool house anthems.
Men In Love is another hit-in-waiting built more for the dancefloor than the moshpit which shows the band's glitterball tendencies are sincere. Hannah Billie supplies a terrific beat while Paine's riffs comprise a few simple notes. It's not complex but the supple groove is massively satisfying.
In lesser production hands Music For Men could have left the band sounding like New Young Pony Club copyists. But Rubin has helped guide Ditto and Co to territory where the dance elements of the album never sound shoehorned in, while retaining their punk bite. --Lou Thomas
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Top Customer Reviews
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!
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.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
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... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Pinky