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Glimmer and Grit: Gossip’s ‘Real Power’ Between Evolution and Identity

  • March 25, 2024
  • 2 min read
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Glimmer and Grit: Gossip’s ‘Real Power’ Between Evolution and Identity

The gossip, real power, indie rock, alternative rock

Gossip’s Real Power marks a vibrant return after a decade-long silence, embodying a tapestry of summer pop anthems and disco tunes that both dazzle and disappoint. The album, spanning 11 tracks, oscillates between the electric energy of dance floors and the intimate whispers of reflective ballads. Yet, despite its attempts at innovation—evidenced by a novel, Hawaiian-inspired slide guitar on “Turn the Card Slowly”—the album at times feels anchored in the band’s past, a retread rather than a reinvention.

Beth Ditto’s voice, as always, remains the band’s most powerful instrument. Her range, from soul-stirring belts to tender croons, shines across the album, particularly on tracks like “Tell Me Something,” which could well become an enduring favorite. However, Real Power ventures into safer, more polished territories, trading the raw punk-disco edge of their earlier work for a sheen that, while enjoyable, might leave long-time fans craving the grittier sound of Gossip’s yesteryears.

The album does triumph in its unabashed fun and danceability, crafting an homage to the ’80s with a modern twist that will undoubtedly pull listeners to their feet. The influence of legendary producer Rick Rubin is palpable, lending a cohesion that elevates the work. Yet, this comes at the cost of the album’s concluding tracks, which, despite their quality, seem to lose the momentum built by their predecessors, culminating in an ending that, while nice, feels somewhat anticlimactic.

The thematic focus on growth, resilience, and political awareness, particularly in tracks inspired by movements like Black Lives Matter, demonstrates that Gossip has not lost their edge in lyrics and message. Yet, the music’s delivery packages these themes in a more accessible, less confrontational sound.

Real Power is a lot of fun and showcases the band’s undoubted talents and unique voice in the music industry. However, it might leave some listeners wondering what could have been if Gossip had dared to venture further from their established sound. In the end, Real Power is a testament to Gossip’s enduring appeal, a celebration of their return, but also a reminder of the complex balance between evolution and identity in music.

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Chris Ryan

Chris Ryan is an accomplished promoter, event planner, producer, activist, counselor, poet and blogger. Within the course of two and a half years Chris Ryan has worked with some of NYC's most established promoters/event planners, been named 2007′s GaySocialite of the year, granted a promoter of the year award from NYC's most famous gay establishment, Splash. He's worked in some of NYC's top venues including; Avalon, Capitale, Cipriani, Cielo, Pacha, Element, Le Poisson Rouge, XL, G Lounge, Plumm, Hilton Hotel, Indigo Hotel, Spirit, Myst/Quo, Splash, The Ritz, Vlada, Roseland Ballroom, Heaven, etc. In 2008, Chris Ryan has begun to unveil some of the most innovative & unique parties New York City has ever seen. The Fusion events "fuse" together all disciplines of art into an event that remains diverse yet cohesive at the same time. ChrisRyanNYC.com won best gay promotions website from NYC Event Patrons in 2008 & he was granted an award from the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, Gov. Patterson & Michelle Clunie (QAF) saluting him for his hard work in nightlife. Chris Ryan has also begun working with many renown companies, including; doctors, lawyers, physicians, modeling agencies & more. Chris Ryan has been responsible for wide-scale promotions for all these companies & generating tremendous business. Chris Ryan has even started to become National with events taking place in LA & Miami this year. In May of 2009 Chris Ryan received the very prestigious honor of being named a "40 Under 40″ Gays in America by the Advocate Magazine. He also created three successful parties that generated over 1,500 patrons each. In January of 2010 Chris Ryan was featured as one of the top promoters to look out for in Noize Magazine Chris Ryan joined forces with legendary promoter/event producer, Lee Chappell and created one of the most talked about events of all 2010, Desire @ Capitale. Chris Ryan and Lee featured one of the most outstanding artists NYC has ever seen, "Oh Land." Her performance coupled with an exquisite and unforgettable set design added to this extravagant event that held over 1,000 patrons in one of NYC's most successful PRIDE events! Chris Ryan then joined forces with legendary Pacha promoter, Rob Fernandez in addition to Jake Resnicow and Tommy Marinelli to bring one of the largest and most successful parties worldwide to NYC, MATINEE. The event on Governor's Island saw over 2,000+ attendees and one of the most ambitious productions ever. In 2011 Chris Ryan started Emerge Music Promotions with business partner Darren Melchiorre. Emerge Music promotions began signing artists with plans to develop and market the artists to the community at large. Emerge Music promotions has big events planned for 2012 and 2013. Chris Ryan debuted the IMAGE events which took place on top of two of NYC's most beautiful rooftop venues, Rare View and Indigo Hotel. The events were blogged everywhere and featured the fashion designs of several clothing designers, artists and photographers. Chris Ryan felt that fashion and art should be displayed at every event and attracted the likes of Malan Breton, Calvin Klein and even Katy Perry. Chris Ryan began an extremely successful event which incorporated the concept of a house party into a nightclub atmosphere. The event Twist'D at G Lounge has been one of the most talked about events in NYC and allows it's audience to play nearly-naked Twister, beer pong, flip cup & more with other attendees. Chris Ryan was granted an excellence in volunteering award from AVP (Anti-Violence Project) for all his efforts in supporting the organization. 2013 has a very promising landscape on the horizon and Chris Ryan is complacent in saying "you haven't seen anything yet!"

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