Sometimes I think that I might throw the word love around too much... I do tend to fall in love with music and sometimes don't know how else to describe it. But I worry that it might take away some of the value of the word. How do I describe an album that I love more than any other if I have already claimed to love dozens of albums this year already? I might need to just start describing albums as pretty good. I do seem to use this phrase a lot when describing my feelings of certain situations, but I really actually mean pretty great when I say pretty good. So when I say love or great, I really do mean it. When an album like this new album by The Gossip comes around I really wish I had a new word to describe it. I do love it...but I really, really love it. I was a bit worried that I might just sort of like it. How could they follow up the brilliance of the last album Standing in the Way of Control? There was just no way. Their albums have been getting better and better but I was worried they had just gotten as good as they were going to get. This new album also marks their debut on a major label. They have gotten to be huge stars in England with the last album and were signed. I was worried they were maybe too busy playing big festival shows and doing big fancy photo shoots, too busy to concentrate on making another brilliant album. But I really had no reason to be worried. I had heard rumours that the new album was going to be great, and it most certainly is. Music for Men was released last week digitally and as an import. We will have to wait for the domestic CD and LP until later in the year, but I could not wait for this one. I had to pick up the import. I had to hold something in my hands. I wanted to look through the liner notes as I listened to the album for the first time. I wanted to own the album! You know, like we all used to do.
There is no mistaking the voice of Beth Ditto. That brilliant, strong, fascinating voice. I can't get enough of it. I fell in love with it the first time I heard it -- and I really mean it. Seeing them live is an essential part of falling in love with The Gossip. I saw them live a couple times in Olympia for Ladyfest, once at one of the main venues for the shows, and it was for sure one of the highlights, but I also got to see them play in somebody's basement the night before. Not sure how I ended up there but I am glad that I did. This was right as they were starting to make an impact and get more popular. I already really liked the albums but after that I knew I would be a fan for life. Seeing them live in San Francisco over the next couple of years just made me fall deeper in love. It is hard to explain the energy they have on stage. They just transform the songs to something different when they are played live. And it is really hard to not dance when you see them live. The new album is full of all the catchy songs that I have come to expect from them, but the lyrics are also fantastic! Another reason to buy the actual album is to be able to read the lyrics. Ditto's lyrics are often as powerful as her voice. The first single is "Heavy Cross." I will post the video for you below so you can check out the brilliance in case you are still unfamiliar. Every song on this album is worth your time. "Love Long Distance" is one of my favorites. So is "Pop Goes the World" and "Four Letter Word," but it is really silly trying to figure out my favorite songs on this album because it changes every time I listen to it. And seriously, every song is fantastic. Hopefully they will get over to Los Angeles very soon. They are playing a bunch of European shows the next couple of months, which makes sense, since the album is out there and not here. I know we sometimes don't want our favorite bands to get too big -- we want to keep them all to ourselves -- but The Gossip deserves all the succes they have gotten. They have been around a while and worked hard for it. And I really do want everyone to know about them. I want everyone to love them as much as I do. They are just plain fantastic and there is no getting around it. See them live! If you don't fall in love with the albums you will most certainly fall in love with their live performances. Beth Ditto is like no other.
Check out the video for "Heavy Cross" by Gossip from the new album Music For Men...
also out 6/30...
This Is Our Time by The Big Pink
Voltaic by Bjork
Got Nuffin by Spoon
Wilco (The Album) by Wilco
Wait For Me by Moby
also out 7/7...
Upper Air by Bowerbirds
Until the Earth Begins To Part by Broken Records
LP by Discovery
Blacksummer's Night by Maxwell
Catacombs by Cass Mccombs
Those Darlins by Those Darlins
These Four Walls by We Were Promised Jetpacks