Scissor Sisters Scissor SistersNight Work
POLYDOR / UNIVERSAL
Promoting your new album on a website that advertises rent boy’s is the most bizarre marketing technique we’ve seen in recent years. But after listening to “Night Work” it all makes sense. Jake Shears had the idea for the LP when he was out painting the town red at one of those dismal Berlin discotheques where anything goes. And the truth is that you can tell. Since they left in our lives in 2003, Scissor Sisters were always destined to return to launch an album like this one: no ballads, full of hits to sing along to at the top of your lungs from the hotrod floats in the Gay Pride parade armed with a good boa, while recalling the mourning of a whole generation when the legendary Studio 54 closed its doors. For a sample of this, see “Any Which Way”, which could be a Lipps Inc. cast off. It must be said that the band has just put out not only their best album to date –it wasn’t very hard to beat “Ta-Dah”, in any case– but also one of the most addictive and low-down albums so far this year. Much of the blame goes to Stuart Price, who turns everything he touches into gold. But the King Midas of pop, far from leaving his mark on each and every song here –see the example of Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor”, where the diva let herself be adored and her participation in the studio was limited to her vocals– lets Shears and the others impregnate this compendium of lasciviousness with their unmistakeable sound genome, through the lens of the still-remembered Robert Mapplethorpe.
It was a major surprise when the Pet Shop Boys meets the Bee Gees song, “Invisible Light”, appeared on the blogsphere: a song that makes you want to sweat until eight o’clock in the morning and buy yourself a dildo. Besides, it can only bring us great joy to hear Sir Ian MacKellen emulating Vincent Price on “Thriller”, expounding the greatness of Babylon. It seems strange to me that a gem like this is at the end of the record. If it hasn’t been chosen as the obvious advance single, what else do our stars really have up their erstwhile sleeves? The answer is “Fire with Fire”. Yes, it is as sappy as it can be, and it may even remind us of “Human” by The Killers –Stuart Price isn’t in charge for nothing. But once the second chorus takes off, there is no turning back to let yourself be put under by the most mainstream cut of “Night Work”, which never loses steam at all, except in “Night Life”.
Plagued with references like “I Want Your Sex” by George Michael in “Whole New Day”, the intro of “She Sells Sanctuary” by The Cult that they use in the infallible “Running Out” –as Devo should have done on “Something For Everybody”– and the synthesised bass of Kraftwerk ’s “Radioactivity” in “Something Like This” (where, if we listen closely, Kylie appears in minute 2:17 as a sort of mirage), “Night Work” is the heterofriendly dream of any carefree lover of straight-up dance floors. Whether it’s a motorised leather fan –in “Harder You Get”, their dirtiest lyrics to date– or a sympathiser of Goldfrapp glitter – “Skin This Cat”, Ana Matronic’s only vocal contribution– the Scissor Sisters’ third work fully meets the expectations of turning them into the best soundtrack for the party where everyone longs to give their all, for once in a lifetime. It won’t be easy for them to surpass this in the future, but then again we said that about their debut.
Sergio del Amo