A Joyful Noise
Gossip are the kind of band that have the image but don’t have the music to back it up. Sure, they had their somewhat successful 2009 hit “Heavy Cross” from their last LP Music for Men. But besides a track here and there that you may catch at a club or on a commercial Beth Ditto and the crew haven’t made much of an impact in the music world. In fact, I think it’s safe to say that Ditto is better know as a personality or in the fashion world. Their latest effort, A Joyful Noise, exemplifies all this: pop tracks (less rock here) that have all attitude but leave you feeling nothing.
While some of the tracks, namely “Get a Job,” have the hooks to be a great pop song there’s an emptiness in the music (perhaps from Ditto’s lame vocal delivery) that doesn’t allow you to care. There is no emotional interaction with 11 tracks. None of them. None have the power that “Heavy Cross” had and at times, even Ditto’s mediocre solo EP has more personality.
“Get Lost” and “Move in the Right Direction” are decent songs but things are so shallow everything ends up feeling like a Blueprint to a Pop Song. But songs like “Horns,” “Love in a Foreign Place,” and “Involved” are totally worthless. The straightforwardness of these songs is insulting to the listener as everything comes out forced and lame.
Pop songs aren’t supposed to strike you on a deep level but they do, do something that make you smile, or dance or react in some positive way. But Ditto and her band somehow manage to literally do the opposite with the tracks on A Joyful Noise. Most likely, if you are not deaf, you will walk away from this record feeling nothing. Well, maybe a little mad that you spent the last 44 minutes to hear two OK songs. But that’s not what you want to take away from any record — pop or not.
Listen to the “standout” track “Get a Job” below: