Well known for their eccentric and controversial songs, Scissor Sisters return to what they do best in Magic Hour after the band’s diversion into club land beats in their third album Night Work. I have to admit, I was disappointed by the direction that the band took with their last album, and so was eager to hear the new album, hoping for a return to the exciting and interesting music from their first self-titular album and their second, Ta-Dah. Magic Hour is no disappointment with several stand out songs and a mix of exciting funky beats, which create an unusual and eclectic mix on an album worth repeating several times.
The only single released thus far from this album, ‘Only The Horses’ is a brilliant lead track. Everything about it is reminiscent of the older music of Scissor Sisters whilst simultaneously looking forward. Memorable lyrics and strong rhythms throughout the song make it the ideal song to show what this album is about.
The first song on the album, ‘Baby Come Home’ is a great start, with some brilliant vocals particularly on the chorus with Jake Shears‘ falsetto complimented by the synthesised beats. The synth rhythm and repetition present throughout ‘Keep Your Shoes’ create a distinguished track, one which stuck with me long after the music ended. It’s a song I can see doing well on the club scene with its very distinct beat. ‘Inevitable’ is much slower than the rest, with an almost ballad feel to it, but it presents a welcome contrast to the rest of album. ‘Self Control’ and ‘Best In Me’ are also highlights of the album, with some very interesting and thought provoking lyrics. And of course, it wouldn’t be a Scissor Sisters album without some controversial material, which the aptly named ‘Fuck Yeah’ fulfils in spades.
‘Let’s Have a Kiki’ is very different to the rest of the music, and even now after a few listens, I still find myself a little confused by it. This is not a song that I’d choose to listen to repeatedly, due to the lack of singing vocals and the cacophony of speech throughout the song. It left me wondering what the point of it was.
The only thing about the album which really feels defunct is the three remixes of other songs on the album. The album would have been just as strong without them, and it feels like they have been put in almost to fill up space. The ‘Shady Love (Tommie Sunshine & Disco Fries Remix)’ is particularly puzzling, and unnecessary, particularly as ‘Shady Love’ is a very enjoyable dance song in its own right.
Overall a very enjoyable album which makes up for the disappointments of Night Work, and reflects the very best of the very interesting and controversial Scissor Sisters.