Gone is the hangover of success: the sales dip, the complete albums taken apart at the last minute, the bouts of depression, the crazy Berlin nights. In 2012, Scissor Sisters are a settled band, with a medium-sized but extremely loyal fan base. Because even though they've always had the masses as their natural target audience, the circumstances leading up to their debut can only be classified as a happy accident. U2's Bono even said at one point they were the best pop band in the world, probably because he feels his thing is rock and roll.
The cream that helped them cure the wounds of the fall was “Night Work”, their third album, produced by Stuart Price. If it didn't hold any hits like their previous efforts, it was because the circumstances changed, not because they couldn't do it anymore. The second half of that LP, with “Skin Tight” and “Invisible Light”, was the most solid stuff they had recorded until then. And it still is.
On “Magic Hour”, Boys Noize takes the helm from Price. The production - less intrusive and uniform this time - alongside the stylistic variety, form a record that is a bit of a patchwork. But not in a bad way, really. There are some tunes on here that prove that Jake Shears and Babydaddy are still two extraordinary pop songwriters; like the remarkable and evocative “Inevitable”, co-produced with Pharrell Williams, and “Somewhere”, the closing track. Furthermore, “Baby Come Home” recovers the honky-tonk vibe of “Laura”. With a slightly annoying but extremely catchy melody, it seemed like the album's natural single. However, opportunistically they chose “Shady Love” as the first advance track, a collaboration with Azealia Banks (word has it the relationship didn't end all too well), which never really stuck, and a Calvin Harris production, “Only The Horses”, which didn't manage to break on the charts as expected. The presence of Ana Matronic, happily minimised for some time now, is limited to the friendly and camp house track “Let’s Have A Kiki”, and to the background vocals. Her smaller role on stage as well helps to take away the feeling of stagnation that rises during their live shows.
Track by track, “Magic Hour” keeps standing, although its heterogeneous nature turns out to be rather distracting. It won't be remembered as the best Scissor Sisters album, but as another tile on the path to the longevity of a good pop band, who have always remained true to themselves.