In their tenth year as a band, Gossip finally look set to break through. Of course, their last album propelled their singer Beth Ditto into the nation's newspapers and magazines with her bolshy, carefree attitude and quotetastic mush, but it was the title track from the Standing in the Way of Control record that really announced their arrival.
The lengthy gestation period of Music For Men led some to question whether or not Ditto and co had an answer to the staggering level of fame they briefly had during the summer of 2007 as Skins fever forced them into the limelight.
The album arrests those fears straight away. It's a fantastic response, full of brash energy and arse-shaking rhythms. Much was made in the build up to the record's release about the lyrical content, that Ditto was loved up and that ballads were to be the order of the day. But that couldn't be further from the truth.
Despite Gossip always claiming to be a punk band at heart Music For Men is most certainly a rock album, and a darn good one at that. Highlights are hard to pick out, with the flow of the tracks into each other making a great argument against the iPod culture of selecting the odd song to buy and playing them at random.
2012 is as thrilling as a film of the same title promises to be, 'Men In Love' shimmers gloriously with Ditto showing off that voice to its highest capabilities, 'Heavy Cross' sounds like Friendly Fires if they left their bedroom occasionally and 'Four Letter Word' is a beautiful end to a stunning album.
Never gonna fall in love again/Never gonna see your face again, Ditto ends the album by singing darkly. Well, Music For Men has made me fall in love with Gossip all over again.