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For better and for worse, she knew she'd become the focal point of the group.
"I felt like if we fail, it's my fault and if we succeed, it's my fault," she says of her predicament — it was time.
There's "In and Out," a hip-shaker that sounds like a '50s girl group channeling Karen O on "Maps." And "Savoir Faire" with its disco stomp pushing Ditto's crackling rock vocal.
"I don't think about that stuff like, 'This is good for my career.'" says Ditto.
"It's like, 'This'll be hilarious fun.'" But all that paved the way for the fierce voice and strutting presence that opens this album.
On "Fire," Ditto intones "get up-up-up if you want my love," before belting the song's title across a grinding mass of guitar, drums and keys cut with psych-pop and dubby effects recalling the deft touch of Danger Mouse.
Fake Sugar's obvious passion is what'd been missing from Gossip's attempts at a sixth LP.
After 17 years of kicking out increasingly dancy garage-punk, "nobody's heart was in it," says Ditto.