A lot is riding on the success of the Scissor Sisters’ third album Night Work. After failing to follow-up on the promise of their self-titled debut on 2006’s Ta-Dah (more fittingly titled Nuh-Uh), even they were aware of the unforgiving reality of the music industry, having scrapped a full album they felt simply didn’t meet the mark. This hotly-tipped third album is safe to say, a return to the glittery, body hugging form of their Brit Award-winning debut self titled effort.
Producer extraordinaire Stuart Price lends his talents to this effort, careful not to over-exert influence which may have marred The Killers’ last album Day & Age. Does Night Work break any new ground? Not particularly. First single Fire With Fire admittedly sounds a little out of place in its modernity when listened to in the context of the whole album. The majority of this effort is fixated on an era where album edits of The Bee Gees and Giorgio Moroder ruled the Dance Floors and Airwaves, not Remixes. We get this in full force on fun romps like Whole New World, Harder You Get and Any Which Way (one of a few apperances by Sir Ian McKellen channeling his best Vincent Price circa Thriller).
Something Like This uses the services of band members sparingly, but is delicious nonetheless. Controversially-titled Skin This Cat has Ana Matronic breathily instructing us how “there’s a million, million ways to skin this cat”… with her seductive new look, that is. I must admit that she sounds much more in her comfort zone here than the last time we heard her on vocals Kiss You Off. Here Kitty, Kitty indeed. Frontman Jake Shears puts on his best Prince-inspired Bodysuit on Skin Tight and I’m confident he’ll deliver a very literal interpretation of the title in one of his renowed live performances.
Nightlife, which has traces of Kenny Loggins’ Footloose and David Bowie’s Modern Love, is loads of fun and of course Invisible Light, with its Men at Work inflections, is perfect as a grand, sweeping finish to this celebration of Yesteryear. At twelve tracks, perhaps numbers like Sex and Violence and Running Out could have been reduced for a more condensed listen in this day and age of shortened attention spans, as musically they don’t add much dimension to the collection
Let’s be real for a moment. Nothing will ever surpass the greatness of Scissor Sisters’ first album. And although I can’t vouch how many viable singles there will be off Night Work, the album in the very least is a proper continuation of the legacy the group promised us when they first surfaced. The album will be available via Universal Music on June 29, 2010. Grade: A-