Pop music is finally catching up to Gossip, or maybe Gossip are finally catching up to pop music. Either way, the Olympia, Washington trio has never sounded more of the moment than it does on its fifth album, a modern-day disco-pop explosion that doesn't even bother with the more serious detours the band occasionally took in the past. Produced by Brian Higgins — the British songwriter and producer behind Cher's club classic "Believe," as well as cuts by Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys — A Joyful Noise takes its title to heart, celebrating a dance-floor lifestyle that's all Saturday-night abandon. Singer Beth Ditto has a big voice like Adele, and the best songs here — "Perfect World," "Move in the Right Direction" — throb almost as forcefully as "Rolling in the Deep." Having it all indeed.
— Michael Gallucci
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