Remember when Mary Beth "Ditto" Patterson was just a blues singer? The Arkansas-born belter used to wail punk blues for the Gossip - the trio who made her a star - like the second coming of Janis Joplin. She still fronts the group, but things have changed: the Gossip dropped the "the" and began to synthesize their sound, a trend that culminated in 2009's polished Music for Men. Meanwhile, Ditto became an international celebrity and fashionista, repping for the likes of Jean-Paul Gaultier and at one point even penning an advice column for London's Guardian titled "What Would Beth Ditto Do?" She's channeled her popularity into a four-track solo effort produced by Simian Mobile Disco, a British DJ duo for whom she's previously contributed guest vocals. (See their "Cruel Intentions.") Beth Ditto EP continues the digitization of Ditto's and — more broadly — Gossip's music, sometimes even stepping into pure disco, and any trace of guitars has been replaced with Euro-club beats. It's all well and good, but this experiment works best when Ditto showcases her snarly pipes, as on the break-up-themed cruncher "Open Heart Surgery." Otherwise, she's just awash in layers of electronica that dilute her Southern bite.