Album Review: Fake Sugar, Beth Ditto

Ex-Gossip singer struggles to find her voice.

When blues punk trio the Gossip first burst onto the underground scene with their still astonishing second LP Movement in ‘03, their front-lady Beth Ditto was a revelation. Every bit the non-conforming, insanely talented superstar, the sky seemed to be the limit for the golden-voiced Arkansas native. Sadly though, post their crossover ’06 single ‘Standing In The Way Of Control’, they failed to fulfil their huge potential. Now solo and embracing her southern roots, Ditto tries to hit the re-start button on Fake Sugar.

But does it work? Opener ‘Fire’ fails to deliver any real thrills, while ‘Go Baby Go’ is filler at best. ‘Love In Real Life’ is a turgid ballad. Though Ditto’s voice is as spectacular as ever (‘In And Out’), the often understated musical accompaniment and lack of hooks really let the record down. There are a few flashes of the Ditto of old, particularly on the infectious ‘Oo La La’, but ultimately Fake Sugar feels like a wasted opportunity.

JUNE 16

 

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