Gossip worth spreading

Pitchforks: 4/5

Record Label: Columbia

As humans, juicy gossip has become almost as necessary as food, water and the air we breathe. Whether it’s a matter of who’s dating whom, or what someone did last night, the desire to know as much as possible is palpable – regardless of how relevant it is to us personally.

Sometimes however, the more we know and the more we open ourselves up, the better off we’ll be, even if the truth hurts. Proving that yet again is the fifth studio album release “A Joyful Noise” by the aptly named band Gossip from Portland.

Set to release Tuesday, “A Joyful Noise” is just that (and some). Unlike most of the tabloid fodder that makes it to print these days, this delivery of the ups and downs of life is truly worthy of your attention.

While some secrets are better left unsaid, the voice of singer Beth Ditto deserves to be heard. In the wake of the constant broken-hearted Adele, the depth, strength and perseverance of this queen from the northwest is remarkable.

With the amazing and consistent accompaniment of guitarist Nathan Howdeshell and drummer Hannah Blilie, Ditto’s songs of love and love-lost are brought to life with truly danceable rock riffs and beats.

Produced by Brian Higgins, whose past works include Kylie Minogue, Pet Shop Boys and Girls Aloud, “A Joyful Noise” is a non-stop supply of songs meant to not only get you on your feet, but also to get you out the door and ready to put the past behind you.

The album’s first single, “Perfect World,” is a crescendo of empowerment in a world of flaws and imperfections. If you’re having doubts, about anything, just remember what Ditto preaches: “In the picture perfect world, we can be more than before.”

Each of the album’s 11 tracks moves seamlessly from one to the next. The opening track “Melody Emergency” sets the stage for what is to come. “Get A Job” is a great anthem for those frustrated with the rich and lazy, while “Casualties Of War” creeps in with a dark and hypnotic beat brought to light and life by (again) Ditto’s words of wisdom.

Before we have a chance to think that Ditto is singing for those strictly on the receiving end of broken hearts and relationships, “Involved” is a song for those who aren’t in love, at least not yet.

The final three tracks encapsulate exactly what Gossip is capable of, not to mention exactly what they have been offering since 2000. Fusing the best elements of pop, funk, disco and lacing it all in the power of rock, Gossip possesses one of the more unique and powerful sounds of the current musical landscape.

For those familiar with the band’s catalogue of material, “A Joyful Noise” is more of what fans have come to love about Gossip without sounding forced or contrived. For those unfamiliar, starting with this most recent release will undoubtedly force the listener to discover all that this band has produced.


Reach the reporter at jbfortne@asu.edu

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