Release Date: Mar 4, 2011
Record label: Columbia
Review Summary: Are you listening very carefully?Of course Beth Ditto made a dance-pop record. What with her high-pitched and able set of pipes, scrappy cool, and gay iconicity, this was an inevitability. The sheer panache of EP, though, isn't something to be taken for granted - oh, no. The four songs on Ditto's debut solo effort are uniformly irresistible, their production (courtesy of Simian Mobile Disco) serving as a basic sonic constant.
Beth Ditto is a refreshing pop star fond of tearing up the rule book: dynamic front woman, post-feminist icon, gay spokesperson and unconventional cover girl. Her debut solo EP, produced by Simian Mobile Disco, is out now on the recently revived dance label Deconstruction. The EP takes classic house as its blueprint, and it's a direction which feels like a natural progression after Beth’s guest vocal on Simian Mobile Disco’s Cruel Intentions.
Beth Ditto - EP On her four-song debut solo effort, Gossip singer Beth Ditto fully embraces the deep dance sound her band has flirted with over the years. A rock star with the melismatic vocal tendencies of an R&B diva, she wisely reins in the histrionics in favour of intimate-sounding melodies. The restrained approach perfectly fits with Simian Mobile Disco's dark, minimal groove contributions, which recall 80s synth pop but with fatter, modern bass lines.
Heavy on bass and disco-diva pomp, Beth Ditto’s first venture away from modern dance-punk pioneers Gossip should go some way to fortifying her status as an indie star. The messy arrangements and lo-fi production that accentuated Standing in the Way of Control, and to a lesser extent Music for Men, is banished to make way for Simian Mobile Disco’s polished electro, a move which suits Mary Beth Patterson’s soulful vocals. Ditto’s short yet extraordinarily sweet self-titled EP is festooned with enough sonorous grooves and throbbing basslines to fill a full-length album, boasting the Gossip songstress’s most danceable tunes to date.