Sleeping with Sirens


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Just two years after the release of the rocking Madness, Sleeping with Sirens returned as an almost different band on Gossip. Their fifth effort and major-label debut is a streamlined pop offering that says goodbye to angsty screaming, cursing, and the raucous assault that defined their first four albums. From post-hardcore blight to a now glossy sheen, the group followed a similar path as contemporaries like All Time Low and PVRIS, whose 2017 offerings also set their sights on the mainstream. While there were subtle hints of this evolution on Madness, Gossip is bound to be divisive for fans of their older material ("Empire to Ashes" is the heaviest they get on this set). As ever, the singular element that marks it as a Sleeping with Sirens album is frontman Kellin Quinn's glorious tenor, which is pushed to new heights -- singing, not screaming -- on highlights like "Trouble" and "I Need to Know." Elsewhere, the quintet opts for uplift and optimism, like on the overwhelmingly motivational "Legends" and the defiant punk rock send-up "Cheers." Gossip ends on the powerful "War," which sounds more like a U2-sized arena singalong by way of a worship band than that of a mainstay on the Warped Tour. It's the mature final statement on a daring record that marks a new stage for the band. Judging by how well they execute this pop/rock hybrid sound, Gossip is a risk that paid off.

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