Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. On Music for Men, the band's devotion to being itself has finally found it a place in the mainstream.
  2. 80
    Brace yourselves, naysayers, for a tour de force.
  3. 80
    It stands out as a piece that’s refreshing, bold in musicality, and still defiant as ever--just the way we like our Gossip.
  4. While it isn't quite as honed as "Standing in the Way of Control," on Music for Men the Gossip sound perfectly at home in their new digs, while remaining true to their essence.
  5. Ditto's one-of-a-kind voice still bestrides everything, sometimes gutsy and soulful, sometimes oddly sweet. [Jul 2009, p.130]
  6. Punk purists may hate it. But dance-floor revelers will drown them out.
  7. This is a truly astonishing effort; a crowdpleaser and a call to arms--now let's go and change the world.
  8. Ditto’s lyrics are still a blend of sex and politics, always delivered with enough passion to fill the dance floor and keep it sweaty.
  9. For most of the album the band reveals new levels of craftsmanship and detail, mastering one unexpected style after another, mostly from the 1970s and ’80s: house, disco, funk, T. Rex glam, synth-pop. After the surprise wears off, the hooks of the songs linger.
  10. Superproducer Rick Rubin adds some more-cowbell boogie to the blues-punk power trio's major-label debut, Music for Men, though the band's rough-diamond magnetism loses some of its pull in the process.
  11. Any such growing pains are largely negated by Ditto’s singular voice, which continues to expertly guide Gossip’s ongoing dance-punk explorations.
  12. Music For Men is a sugar-coated dance record that echoes with universality.
  13. 70
    Ditto's huge voice can't do soft, so it shoots skyward on 'ove Long Distance,' and coupled with a mechanical piano and canned beat, the band starts to sound a bit catatonic. But the rest of Music for Men is a tightly wound disco-punk conjugation.
  14. As a musical statement of intent to the throngs of the newly interested, Music For Men shows a clear picture of who Gossip want to be--a New Millennial Madonna for whom Danceteria never closes. But for those who have been following Gossip's career, waiting with bated breath to see how the band will evolve, this new record may feel a little too much like they are still Standing in the Way of Control.
  15. There's nothing really to grab them: too many of the songs seem a little underweight. It may be that 'Heavy Cross' is enough to save the Gossip from indie one-hit-wonderdom, but there's no escaping the fact that Music for Men doesn't do the thing it really needs to.
  16. It's hard to hear Men as anything but a letdown, the sound of a genuinely talented band struggling to take the proverbial next step.
  17. Rick Rubin produces; a mixed blessing.
  18. A spirited return from Beth Ditto and company--but where are the new ideas?
  19. The weak spot, as ever, are lyrics that clasp to cliches without transforming them. So we get a song about a certain four-letter-word, and lines about rain or taking chances. On the other hand, the punchline of 'Men in Love' is pretty great, and Beth’s belting usually subsumes the stock imagery.
  20. Ditto and co. have been miles beyond this for years now, and by turning to a tired sound without bringing any new ideas, they risk losing what made them so unique in the first place.
  21. Music for Men is a relatively safe album for Gossip's first major release.
  22. It wasn't disco-pop and it wasn't chart-fodder, and sadly for them--and their label--attempts to make them so with the help of Rick Rubin has resulted in a record that sounds similar to the last but with the heart ripped out.
  23. It’s a crushingly un-exuberant album, powered by neither anger nor joy, howls of rage nor whoops of exhilaration, not revelling in any particular aspect of the band’s music, nor kicking against any pricks. The lyrics dabble with outsiders and the odd bit of queer imagery, but there’s nothing revelatory, incendiary or revealing.
  24. The singer cuts loose only as '8th Wonder' winds down, building to the kind of fury that causes one to wonder what this album could've been with less polish and a lot more Ditto, unfiltered.
  25. In the end, the record seems an ascetic exercise, complete with drumstick count-ins.
  26. 40
    It's surprising how straight down the line this album is. [Jul 2009, p.94]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 10 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Oct 18, 2012
    Indie rock capable for the mass-market - the voice of Beth Ditto is interesting and a couple of bass lines stay in your head. But some songs are also very lame - which leads the album to be only good mean. A longer production time would have helped maybe. Full Review »
  2. Jun 12, 2012
    Gossip got too pop, honestly. Their first albums were more agressive, and they were more dance-punk. The album has some good songs: "Dimestore Diamond" and "Heavy Cross" have a stronger grip, and just it. The others don't have the same characteristic which affects the album rhythm. "Standing In The Way Of Control" is way better than this one... Full Review »
  3. Aug 16, 2010
    Someone convinced me to listen to this. I immediately went out and bought the CD.
    Everyone who listened to my copy did exactly the same.
    still haven't met anyone who doesn't think it's amazing. Full Review »