Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour
- By Bob Fear -
- May 22, 2012
Our 'Magic Hour' with the Scissor Sisters kicks off with 'Baby Come Home' - a return to form with the definite ring of Elton John doing Emeli Sande’s 'Next To Me'. 'Keep Your Shoes' is like Rihanna meets Mr Oizo (nice) but the first stumble is when Pharrell Williams (why?) is let loose on 'Inevitable'. He squeezes this track through an RnB wringer and it comes out all messed up like a bad 90s Bee Gees remix.
At about quarter past the hour things finally get properly magical with lead single 'Only The Horses' and it’s the ubiquitous hit-fixer Calvin Harris to the rescue. Okay – so it’s really just Jake Shears singing over the producer’s very familiar production template but why not? It works.
'The Year Of Living Dangerously' is an 80s inspired power ballad movie soundtrack contender channelling one hit wonders from Berlin to Peter Cetera. But it’s just not quite as epic and soaring as it really needs to be. You’d expect the Scissors to really go for it, get the wind machine out, stand on a cliff edge – the lot. But the production kind of shies away from all that. What this needs is a guitar solo from Slash.
'Let’s Have A Kiki' has to have the best Scissor Sisters title since 'Tits On The Radio' and it’s as camp as a row of pink tents with fairy lights, a disco ball and a mobile cocktail bar. But then another guest producer butts in to ruin things again. Azaelia Banks has somehow managed to delete the Scissors’ usually indelible sense of humour and joy de vivre from 'Shady Love'.
As we reach the last 15 minutes of the hour 'San Luis Obispo', 'Self Control' and 'Best In Me' feel like lazy filler material. But then the clock strikes on the 'Secret Life Of Letters' and all is nearly redeemed. A stripped down Jake (steady…) comes over all sweet and mournful. This lovely little number sounds like it could be from their upcoming musical version of 'Tales Of The City'. Finally a promising new avenue for the Sisters to explore. I’ll book my ticket as soon as the show rolls in to town.
As we reach the end of our hour, the Scissor Sisters save the best for last with 'Somewhere' – a fab Giorgio Moroder dirty disco beat with Jake back at his daring best. It should have ended there but it then goes a bit nosebleedy with bonus track 'Fuck Yeah' (great title but guys but you need to get Stuart Price back to do this properly).
So sadly, with much regret as I love the Scissors, Magic Hour never quite reaches the euphoric heights of Night Work. It’s mostly a bit fake – like you’re pretending you’re off your tits but really you just can’t be arsed to do it all over again after the massive bender you went on the night before. Either get some harder drugs or just go to bed.
I’ll set my alarm for that Tales Of The City stuff though.