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Gossip - Real Power (Album Review)

Friday, 29 March 2024 Written by Matthew McLister

To some, Gossip have been defined by one song. It’s been almost 20 years since Standing In The Way Of Control cut through the indie sleaze scene with  groove and dancefloor ambition, making Beth Ditto into an LGBTQ+ icon and setting up a breakthrough album at the third time of asking. 

Into this long shadow steps ‘Real Power’, the Arkansas trio’s first LP in 12 years. A lot has happened to the band since they last recorded together — they turned 40, they lost people, they got divorced — and these experiences underpin a collection of slick, disco-infused tunes that are fun and heartfelt while lacking the pizzazz to stand out next to past glories.

There’s a fair bit to like, though. Crazy Again tugs on the heartstrings for a tender-riffing gut punch while the pensive Turn the Card Slowly features lovely Foals-esque sun-kissed guitars. They continue the dreamy vibe on the surf-rock-inspired Tough, beautifully complemented by Ditto’s melancholic vocal delivery. 

Unfortunately, not everything lands. There’s admirable empowering intent on the title track but it’s repetitive, and Peace and Quiet is a cliched damp squib of an ending. Returning to their indie disco roots is also an issue, serving up some banal retreads alongside hits such as Give It Up For Love, which mines Nile Rodgers-inspired guitars and infectious disco-funk.

As a whole, then, ‘Real Power’ is solid enough, sounding both clean and accomplished. But that’s also part of the problem. There is a lack of edge and grit here, meaning that Gossip don’t quite land a telling blow.

Gossip Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Tue August 27 2024 - DUBLIN Collins Barracks
Sun September 01 2024 - LIVERPOOL Olympia
Tue September 03 2024 - GLASGOW SWG3
Wed September 04 2024 - LEEDS Wardrobe

Compare & Buy Gossip Tickets at Stereoboard.com.


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