Album Review: Scissor Sisters – Night Work

By on Thursday, 29th July 2010 at 2:00 pm

Spawned by New York’s gay club scene nearly a decade ago, Scissor Sisters recently released their third studio album ‘Night Work,’ the follow-up to their chart-topping self-titled debut (2004) and 2006’s ‘Ta-Dah.’ Band members Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Babydaddy, Del Marquis and Randy Real (replacing former drummer Paddy Boom) spent about 18 months working on the album before scrapping it and starting over with producer Stuart Price.  At the time, vocalist Shears said “If it wasn’t something we could fully get behind and believe in, I think the band was going to be over.” Luckily they found some inspiration and the result is an album  they described to Pop Justice as “supersexual and sleazy.”

That the album is very sexual should come as no surprise to anyone who takes a look at the album cover, or for that matter, to anyone who has listened to Scissor Sisters before. This album, however, goes a bit further than their usual cheekiness and double entendre to even be explicit at times. Rather than being disturbing or shocking, though, the results are generally hilarious. I defy anyone to keep a straight face during the Kylie-collaboration ‘Any Which Way’ when Ana Matronic says “I’m going to find that man with the right shade of bottle tan, / 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.” A definite highlight of the album, this is just one of the many tracks that will have you up on your feet dancing. Another great song is ‘Something Like This,’  which rather cleverly has an entire chorus about not knowing the words: “I can’t remember any words / there’s a verse and after it goes / something like this / goes something like this / goes something like this.”

The majority of the more upbeat-sounding tracks are fronted by Jake Shears and his falsetto vocals, including album opener ‘Night Work’ (“I sleep all day but I break my back in the moonlight / gotta cash that cheque by midnight for the /night work’.) The track ‘Harder You Get’ combines a falsetto chorus with low, almost growled verses, and the result is undeniably sexy. But its not just Jake Shears who brings the sexy: Ana Matronic’s breathy vocals over the slower, off-kilter ‘Skin This Cat’ are fabulous.

The first single from the album, ‘Fire With Fire,’ is a noticeable departure from the rest of the album, with its slow build and its lack of a real dance-able beat until the 2nd verse. But even though its not what we’re used to from Scissor Sisters, its still a great song and shows that they’re capable of more than just over-sexualized club music, and for that reason I think it was a good choice for a single. And ‘Invisible Light’ is the perfect track to close the album: a little bit dark, a little bit retro, and a LOT of fun. Some might see ‘Night Work’ as “a pastiche of Scissors Sisters’ former glories” [Drowned in Sound], but all I’m really looking for in a good summer album is some fun, and what is more fun than Sir Ian McKellan doing spoken word about ‘sexual gladiators’?

Check out Scissor Sisters’ fantastic performance of ‘Any Which Way’ at Glastonbury 2010 below  featuring the lovely Kylie Minogue.


Scissor Sisters’s album Night Work is available now. They will be embarking on a short UK tour in December.

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