A Joyful Noise is the latest offering from American group Gossip. Continuing their indie rock, electro sound, the album has pop and dance influenced synths and beats, with the group’s characteristic darker edge. Many songs, like Get A Job, have a fun, popular sound, and with its pulsing beat, catchy lyrics and Beth Ditto’s soulful vocals, it’s made for the dance-floor. What’s more, Gossip’s contemporary, popular edge is underlined by the start of Get A Job which could almost be mistaken for Lady Gaga.
Move in the Right Direction is equally catchy and upbeat, and is likely to become an indie nightclub regular, but there is something lacking in Ditto’s vocals. In the song’s turn towards a more commercial bent, sometimes her voice is drained of depth in its high notes.
But Gossip fans shouldn’t fear, A Joyful Noise has plenty of opportunities for the charismatic frontwoman to shine. Get Lost contrasts slower, softer verses with an energetic and powerful keyboard-led chorus, recalling the guilty pleasure of ‘90s dance. Not only that, but the vocals are effortless and beautifully heartfelt. Get Lost is a stand-out track – strong emotionally and rhythmically it proves how good this band can be.
The darker, slower songs on the record also showcase the depth of the band’s reach, and their myriad of influences. Although most of the songs on A Joyful Noise rise to a lively, driving climax, some, like I Won’t Play, are certainly more in tune with the moodier and rockier parts of Gossip’s output. The synths and sing-a-long chorus are still present, but there is low-pitched intensity in the song (underlined by bold guitar and drums) which other tracks shun entirely.
Their first single from this record, Perfect World, is similarly doleful and these melancholic tracks could be seen to lack consistency with the rest of the album, but this is Gossip – and nothing can be straightforwardly categorised. The contrast between the band’s two opposing styles suggests Gossip don’t want to choose between them, instead they will keep making electro, pulsing music, whether it is with soulful slower songs, or darkly emotive dance tracks. A Joyful Noise is an enjoyable and complex record, with broad appeal for indie and dance fans alike.
Standout Track: Get Lost
For Fans of: Cansei de ser Sexy, Ladyhawke, Justice, Delphic
Written By: Jade Turner