Album: The Gossip, Music For Men, (Columbia)

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The Independent Culture

If you're only gonna have one trick, make it a good 'un. The Gossip's template – Beth Ditto's almost absurdly soulful vocals set against an urgent rock-disco backing – hasn't altered significantly on their Rick Rubin-produced fourth album.

The earthy southern blues which peppered their early works has been expunged, and the "Standing in the Way of Control" blueprint is unrelenting. "Love Long Distance", with its piano house motif and Marvin Gaye quote, stands out, as does "2012".