The Gossip – Standing In The Way Of Control

The GossipI often wonder how important image is, in people’s perceptions of music. I didn’t go to a gig until I was 18, didn’t buy music magazine until 1999 and I never had MTV. My burdgeoning love of music was purely down to what I heard coming out of the speakers. What people looked like or dressed up in had absolutely no bearing on my opinion of music. Bands could be flamboyantly dressed and have charasmatic frontmen or women, fine. But if the CD wasn’t any good, then all the fancy threads in the world wouldn’t mean shit. The Gossip have the rather brilliant Beth Ditto as their vocalist. To be frank, she isn’t a petite woman, but fuck can she sing. She’s got a belting voice that’s soulful and powerful at the same time. Standing In The Way Of Control is the three-piece band’s fourth album. The group have spent time touring with the White Stripes and Beth’s provided vocals for the latest Peaches album, but this album isn’t stripped down garage rock or electro-punk; it kinda sways in between.

The opening track “Fire With Fire” has a fuzzy, guitar line and minimal drums; it’s pretty danceable and funky. The album’s title track reminds me of the Rapture, but obviously a bit more soulful and with a sparser sound. “Jealous Girls” has an uneven drum beat I like, “Cool To Diamonds” is a surprise as it’s slow and melancholy and led totally by Beth’s voice. “Yr Mangaled Heart” seemed musically predestrian at the start, but again it’s Beth’s voice that makes it special.

This is an album that’s difficult to define; sometimes it’s seems like a straight-forward garage rock album, then it veers into disco-punk territory. It was a pleasant surprise when the bass heavy “Listen Up” came in with some cowbell. But most of the time, the music is stripped down, soulful punk.

The Gossip – Listen Up!


  1. She does have a great voice. Notice how all the other girls in the video are thin.

  2. At my new job I can listen to music while working but CANNOT save music on my computer or download iTunes or Real player *natch* So I find myself watching vids on this site among others. Thanks, Ali, for all the tunes, but especially this one, which I *really* like. It’s the first time I bought an album based on your recommendation! Hope you and Anna are both well, Bina.

  3. Wow! I’m glad you like it. It’s all been worthwhile. Me and Anna re doing fine, not really seeing much of each other thanks to work but there you go. Enjoying your new job?

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