The songs that make up Beth Ditto’s first solo LP were initially intended for another Gossip album before – to her surprise – her band mate moved back to Arkansas, paving the way for her to go it alone. Ditto has arranged the tracks into a slick, professional record littered with strutting, sequin-daubed stompers, Dusty Springfield-esque southern soul and 70s disco grooves. Of course, Ditto’s mammoth voice is at the forefront of it all, whether it’s matching the swagger of the gritty, blues-stomping Fire, or anxiously delivering a chorus about falling In and Out of love with her wife. The album does well to showcase its punk edge in some of its most angular moments. Ooh La La sharpens that edge with a straight-up shot of soul rock revivalism followed by a chaser of electro-groove. Ditto is at her peak at these moments, where she finds a balance between creativity and sneering attitude, and it would have been great to see more of that, and less of the studio-slick professionalism of the album’s sound. It’s good to have her back, nonetheless.
FIRST PUBLISHED ON NO RIPCORD