Gossip - 'A Joyful Noise'

Not the first time indie artists have fallen for Xenomania's cred-pop charms, but hopefully the last.

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May 22 2012, 7:10pm

GOSSIP
A Joyful Noise

Columbia, 2012

  • Favorite:

    "Melody Emergency"

  • Flavors:

    Marie Rose cocktail sauce, flat prosecco

RATING:

TRACK LIST:

  1. Melody Emergency
  2. Perfect World
  3. Get A Job
  4. Move In The Right Direction
  5. Casualties Of War
  6. Into The Wild
  7. Get Lost
  8. Involved
  9. Horns
  10. I Won't Play
  11. Love In A Foreign Place

If there is a more irritating trope in music than rock bands claiming to "love pop," it probably involves squeezing a whoopie cushion in time to Black Lace's "Gang Bang." Yet, despite watching many others trip up on this one, somewhere, somehow, after another long drunken dinner with Rick Rubin, Beth Ditto decided she was a pop band. And to prove it, she would make the next Gossip record with one of the noughties' top pop-pickers, Brian Higgins of Xenomania.

This is not the first time indie artists have fallen for his cred-pop charms.

Let's see how that's worked out so far...


New Order

+

Xenomania

=

0

(Sessions cancelled after the band "realized they were not a pop band.")

Franz Ferdinand

+

Xenomania

=

0

(Sessions cancelled after the band decided "We are not a pop group.")

Gossip

+

Him Again

=

A Joyful Noise

(No sessions cancelled because no one involved managed to work out that Gossip isn't a pop band.)

Beth and Brian have gone for that ABBA-circa-79 look: lots of synths draped over everything like cream-colored chaise longues, Beth reclining and pouring melancholy like Marie Rose sauce onto a prawn cocktail of langour. It sounds pretty seductive, reading it back, but I am quite hungry as I write this. Sad to say that, bar the primally-screamed comet of joy that is "Melody Emergency," most of A Joyful Noise never quite gets to the point. Instead, it mopes around, a little lost, a little too arch in its stylization, trying to ooze pop energy without ever sounding the only way pop can ever sound if it is to succeed: effortless.