I owe the Gossip big time. Firstly, they provided the backdrop to my travels around London the previous weekend and however miserable, cold, rainy and generally crap it was Beth Ditto’s lively bubbliness kept me smiling and my head pointing in the right direction. Secondly, they provided me with one of my (least/most) favourite London tube memories: a full length advertisement for their second album where Beth raised her arms to the heavens and revealed her completely unshaven armpits. Gross and hilarious at the same time.
But on to the album.‘A Joyful Noise’ is what it says on the tin, a collection of ‘Joyful Noise.’ Pop music with a great bounce to it. With Beth Ditto in the front you have a lovable, or if not extremely likeable frontwoman with a fantastic set of pipes. Track ‘Move in the Right Direction’ (previous Video of the Moment here) has great pace but does itself no favours with a thoroughly vulgar fadeout at the end. But as with most songs I like, it redeems itself with a lovely catchy chorus that manages to get stuck in the sticky part of your brain. ‘Get a Job’ evolves in a Hot Chip-y kind of way more than anything, and you can expect to hear it at a Propaganda dance night extremely soon. “You better get a job” is the line and with Beth, it’s delivered with a beautiful kind of harshness. The guitars are cool as a cucumber and aid to the pure head-bobbiness of the tune.
There are tracks on the album like ‘Get Lost’ that are in all honesty instantly forgettable, which I don’t like to say about something somebody has worked on. But hey, I’m being truthful. Another of these is ‘Perfect World.’ The album ends on a high note though with corking slow burner ‘Melody Emergency’, an obvious highlight in the album. Not in the way ‘Heavy Cross’ builds, but in the same fashion, just with less of that Radio1 playability and charm.
‘A Joyful Noise’ is far from the Gossip’s best effort. However, it’s an album which from start to finish is filled with some real bounce and vigour and if it doesn’t put a smile on your face, well then I refer you to my earlier story on the underground… It may help.
‘A Joyful Noise’, the Gossip’s latest album, is available now from Columbia.