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Gossip - 'Real Power' Album Review


1. Act Of God

2. Real Power

3. Don’t Be Afraid

4. Crazy Again

5. Edge Of The Sun

6. Give It Up For Love

7. Turn The Card Slowly

8. Tell Me Something

9. Light It Up

10. Tough

11. Peace And Quiet

Gossip are back! After 11 years away from the music scene the indie dance attitude disruptors are back. Having burst on the scene in 2006 with 'In The Way Of Control', the platinum selling band released a string of music until 2012’s 'A Joyful Noise', after which they went on hiatus and Beth Ditto carved a niche for herself in the world of fashion.

During their first coming in the music industry Gossip slowly evolved from an indie powerhouse with soulful tones to a soulful band with indie attitude. There was a clear progression and growing maturity to their music all underpinned by Beth Ditto’s voice, which is a thing of beauty, power and seduction in equal measures. You could see and feel this was a band who were moving forwards and changing their style, then, nothing! It’s been 11 long years since we’ve had any new music from them. Too long to be without such a quality band with a fantastic lead singer.

So, what’s the new album like, well, in parts, it’s as if they’ve never been away, there is a definite continuation of their morphing into a soulful dance band with bags of attitude, if there is a groove to be found in a song, they will find it and turn it into a thing of beauty. They also still have the attitude in spades, some of these songs are powerful in a way that I had begun to suspect Gossip couldn’t be again. The break, the bands various divorces, the fact they have all turned 40 has definitely had an impact.

As well as having the groove and the attitude there is a more mellow vibe to parts of this album, a maturity and growing sense that they haven’t finished evolving yet.

There is a joy through this album, a sense that they have real pleasure in being in each other’s company. There are elements of soul, gospel, funk, disco and indie all merged into one joyous, life affirming record. Does everything work 100%, possibly not, but when it’s this good enjoy it for what it is, with life the way it is these days we all need more Gossip in our life.

The title track sums up what Gossip are all about but there’s also a bit of channelling of Nile Rodgers in here, a sense that Let’s Dance era Bowie may be stalking the record and a feeling that at any moment Beth might just take over and sort out the whole mess we’re in.

In a word I loved this album, on a cold damp Sunday in March it lit me up, got me moving and made me smile, if that’s not what music is there for what’s the point?  If Beth can keep singing like this and the band can keep writing songs that are nearly always top notch while bringing the groove and soul, we hear here I don’t know what else we need? Hopefully they stick around this time!

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Review - Iain McClay


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