Wednesday 14 March 2012

Review: Gossip return with "Perfect World"

Perfect World cover

Beth Ditto and her motley crew, collectively known as Gossip have returned, Hooray! The group's energetic last album, Music for Men, seems like it was released an eternity ago (2009 in actuality) and with Ms Ditto releasing an EP in 2011 I was worried that that was the end of the trio, and solo stardom beckoned. But new single Perfect World means my prayers have been heard, and they return with their fifth album, A Joyful Noise, in May of 2012.

Ditching a prominent guitar lead for layers of ambient synths, the group's trademark acoustically spacious sound has been filled out somewhat, but not so much that its been lost entirely- for instance, the verses. They're still wearing their 80's influences on their musical sleeve, but now it seems to be slightly more pop than rock-orientated, no doubt influenced by producer, and one half of Xenomania and Girls Aloud producer, Brian Higgins. It fits with the continuing evolution of their sound, so it shouldn't shock fans too much, but something is missing.

Perfect World is a little too laid back for my liking, especially for a single that is supposed to herald Gossip's return, and it's missing that grit that the group usually come with. Also, nowhere in the song does vocalist Beth Ditto soulful tones really get a chance to let loose. It all sounds a little too restrained and controlled, missing that emotional abandonment and freedom her voice, and the band to be honest, usually bring. It's a big part of why I love the group, so it being missing has left me somewhat lukewarm to this offering. Perhaps it's a grower.



  1. Hey DD, first and foremost I would like to apologise for the nasty comments I have left on your site recently, I don't normally conduct myself in such an repulsive manner. Just got really mad for a moment there! So sorry again (and ps I will never ditch this site - Its too good)

    That aside where the song is concerned I do quite like it but however I certainly feel that Ditto's vocals do most of the work in keeping it going, she is certainly one overlooked lady in music!

  2. Totally. Will be profiling her soon. Love her voice

  3. I like how you are like myself in that genre is no barrier to enjoying great music by great singers! I can listen to any chick sing any kind of music from hip-hop to opera!!

  4. What a disappointment! I mean whole album. Paradoxically "Perfect World" which you found too restrained is in my opinion the best track on the album. I quite like first five songs (with exception for "Move In The Right Direction" - too Minogue -sque?/-ish?;). My favourite are "Perfect World" - there's a bit of Cold Wave sound in it (Depeche Mode, New Order) and "Casualties Of War" - sounds like Madonna's hit found in old forgotten cabinet mixed with Kate Bush styled chorus. However the second part of "A Joyful Noise" is dull and boring. The only moment which caught my attention was "Horns" - stylish, juicy funky.
    They lost completely their gritty, garage and underground character. Beth sings without any emotional tension, she seems to be somehow disconnected (or rather disco-nnected). And that's a sin! She doesn't use that exceptional gift she has.
    Simply saying: I can't be emotionally moved by music as a listener while performers are cold and disconnected. They don't give a shit, why should I?