Wednesday, 24 June 2009

Review: Gossip - Songs for Men

Music for men sung by an open lesbian! Now that is how I like it! American band Gossip is still a hot gossip and this time they offer you more to be jealous of. Beth Ditto is no wussy and she likes being herself even if this means to be criticized for her attitude and be discussed about her quite eye-poking eccentricity and sexuality. Nevertheless, Ditto's media challenges have little to no effect on their music, which has improves with every next record.

"Music for Men" is not your lesbian-kick-ass album that diminishes masculinity or praises woman-to-woman love in the name of emancipation and personal liberation. Sorry to those who were awaiting Gossip with the axes ready to chop-off a few heads, but "Music for Men" happens to be an intelligent post-punk/alt rock exploration of personal battles, the emotionally challenging moments and the harsh truth behind the mundane course of life and the lies we tell on daily basis. Being strong, with the guard up and knowing the perks to survive in the concrete jungle is what makes everyone of us an essential part of the community. The rest is crap and Ditto knows that best.

Although "Standing in the Way of Control" was Gossip's breakthrough release their new album shows some visible changes for good or for bad. Just three years ago this Searsy, Arkansas based band had to face the hardships surrounding the whole overnight stardom and give a serious thought on their next material, which could put an end to their success and send them straight to the "kind" hands of critics. I guess, Ditto had a few top notch ideas hidden somewhere around her bellybutton and "Music for Men" proves that after a very strong "debut" on the big scene one could actually record an adequate follow-up. Of course, to those too much in love with their older material this album might come as a surprise or a big No-No, but after a few listens you'll tune into the beats of Ditto's dance-punk groove.

Songs to hear: "Heavy Cross", "Love Long Distance", "Men in Love" and "For Keeps"

Rating: 7/10