Album Review | POP

Gossip, ‘A Joyful Noise’

The cautionary tale of the rock band led astray by the allure of pop stardom is a hoary one, but it’s rare to see such a glaring example. For Gossip, success came from the shores of the UK, where the Washington trio, and vocalist Beth Ditto in particular, have become a staple of the rock press. There’s little evidence of the band’s prior garage-soul identity on this slick production of danceable beats, save for Ditto’s rightfully mythologized vocals. Guitarist Nathan Howdeshell, whose spiked darts of riffing gave their early work such energy, seems to have barely plugged in his amp here. Producer Brian Higgins carried over some of his slick hit-making tricks from working with the likes of Kylie Minogue, whose Euro-beat style is called to mind in “Get a Job.” Record by record the band has been accumulating hyphens like genre merit badges (indie-, punk-, disco-, electro-), but here they seem to have devolved, finally, into just plain pop. (Out Tuesday)


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