On June 28, following a four year hiatus, the Scissor Sisters unveiled their third studio effort, Night Work.
Darker and more cohesive than either of the Scissors’ past two efforts, Night Work is a masterfully executed, sleekly polished glimpse into the excess and depravity of 1970’s disco nightlife–all without ever hazarding the treacherous territory of homage.
Produced by Stuart Price, Night Work also doubles as the perfect disco-laden compliment to the summer’s best album: Kylie Minogue‘s Aphrodite (which just happens to be produced by Mr. Price as well–I bet someone’s having a good summer!)
The album largely revels in a barrage of dirty bass lines and guitar riffs from Babydaddy and Del Marquis, glitchy synthesizers and front-man Jake Shears‘ pitch-perfect falsetto, which provides the vocal backing behind the album’s massive glam-rock anthems (“Fire With Fire”) and dark disco haunts (“Night Work”).
Though the album dives into darker territory, there’s plenty of the Scissor Sisters’ signature camp style buried within the record.
Take for instance “Any Which Way,” a glee-filled romp that finds Ana Matronic playing the sex-starved temptress mid-way through and cooing about finding a man that smells like “cocoa butter and cash.” “Take me anyway you like it / In front of the fireplace, in front of your yacht, in front of my parents / I don’t give a damn, baby–just take me!” she shrieks. It’s silly, it’s naughty, and above all, it’s irresistible.
Don’t believe me? Just try to watch their Glastonbury performance of the track (with a special cameo by a certain pop princess). I defy you not to crack a smile.
Songs like the slinky “Skin This Cat” operate as further evidence that the Sisters have evolved their sound. The melodies here are vastly sexier than previous efforts, even if the lyrics provide enough of a knowing wink wink, nudge nudge to keep you giggling: “You’re not the first tom to walk my floor / So get around the block a few times more / And keep scratch scratchin’ at my back door / And I will show you.”
Further on, several cuts show off Shears’ darker side, including the stomping “Harder You Get” and “Sex & Violence,” which burns with an icy intensity and deranged flares of old school synthesizers: “Oh, I need a witness, to see the mess I’ve made,” Shears devilishly purrs. “Where do you live? What do you give? Who are you with? And how you getting home?” Glam, sex, and murderous intent…a personal favorite, for sure.
But perhaps no track best embodies the album’s true essence than with its final moment: “Invisible Light,” an immense, wildly celebratory six-minute opus of dark disco euphoria.
By the time Ian McKellan delivers his spot-on spoken word about “sexual gladiators” and “fiercely old party children,” the track is already bursting at the seams, at last unleashing wave upon wave of sublime coos and pulsating, tribal beats that come together in one gorgeous moment of frantic bliss.
If there’s any word to describe the Sisters’ latest output, it’s evocative: Of Grace Jones, of bell bottoms and gold chains, of the sweat and grime and filth of a dirty New York City disco.
And that’s what I call a proper night out.
To celebrate the album’s release, MuuMuse is proud to be giving away SIX COPIES of Night Work. send me an e-mail with the subject line “NIGHTWORK” or tweet me with the following phrase: “I found a whole new way to love @MuuMuse! #NightWork”
Six winners will be randomly selected and notified on Tuesday, July 27. Good luck!
To preview and purchase Night Work, click here.