The following was originally published on Exclaim.ca.
Music for Men
By Jessica Lewis
Gossip’s fourth studio album is the kind of record that makes you kick yourself if you haven’t listened to the other three. With flashy, trash-talking disco, funky guitar riffs, fast drum beats and Beth Ditto‘s range ― from tiny, almost hidden hums to loud, powerful, soulful howls ― it’s anything but boring or bland. The power is on high, pulsing through veins, as Ditto puts everything into phrases like “It takes two; it’s up to me and you to prove it,” on exciting single “Heavy Cross.” If there’s a lesson to take away from this album it’s that you don’t want to make Ditto mad. Armed with a strong, genre-mixing backbone, provided by Brace Paine and Hannah Blilie, Ditto spits comments destined to inspire guilt in past partners, as on “Love Long Distance.” The lyrics aren’t particularly complicated but the fact that Ditto puts it so simply is more of an excuse to quickly learn how to sing along when you need that perfect break-up song. (Columbia)