GOSSIP – A JOYFUL NOISE
Released 14th May 2012 (Columbia Records)
Words: Kelly Jones
A Joyful Noise is the fifth release from dance-pop trio Gossip. The US band, who made their name with 2007 single ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, have teamed up with Xenomania founder and Brian Higgins to produce the album. Higgins’ famous back catalogue contains production work with pop bands like The Sugababes and Girls Aloud and songwriting credits with Cher. Higgins certainly has an extensive pop and dance credentials, and you can feel it throughout A Joyful Noise. It’s well produced; almost immaculately so, with the polished kind of tones not present of their previous albums. With such clean production values, there’s a sense of loss in the raw authenticity that made Gossip exciting.
There’s something immediately a little too safe with A Joyful Noise, almost as though the band decided to venture further into pop, but in doing so have managed to leave behind the dance tracks that got them where they are now. It’s difficult to pick a stand out song from the eleven on A Joyful Noise, their presence is fleeting and unmemorable. Gossip have stuck to their well tested formula for songs, but without heavier, more dance orientated tracks A Joyful Noise almost blends into one long forty four minute song instead of the eleven track album it should be. It’s pure pop, though with singer Beth Ditto’s strong vocals acting as the basis it’s still recognisable as a Gossip album.
Essentially, there is nothing terrible about A Joyful Noise; as a pop album it’s perfectly fine, but as a Gossip album it falls flat. It’s a rather bland offering for a band who have the potential for so much more.