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Album review: Scissor Sisters, "Night Work"

By Allison Stewart

At their best, sparkle disco champs Scissor Sisters bring to mind the result of a one-night stand between Erasure and the Killers. Their self-titled '04 debut was a synth-pop bacchanal; on its too-somber follow-up, "Ta- Dah," gloomy meditations on fame and death gate-crashed the Sisters' perpetual Studio 54.

The group's third disc, "Night Work," restores the balance between gravitas and camp. Sprawling, profane, in love with satiny retro disco, dance floor excess and itself, "Night Work" has no end of nostalgic pop gems both great ("Sex and Violence") and small ("Harder You Get").

Even Sir Ian McKellen gets in on the act, contributing a spoken-word passage to "Invisible Light" that recalls a non-scary (all right, maybe a little scary) version of the rap Vincent Price did on "Thriller." "Whose laser gaze penetrates the sprawling theater of excess and strobe lights?" McKellen intones, Britishly. "Invisible Light" appears, rather awesomely, to be about a gay robot ("Invisible light / Shoots from your eyes"), although it probably isn't.

The disc peaks with "Any Which Way," an optimistic, unrelenting boogie featuring the memorable suggestion: "Take me any way you like it / In front of the fireplace / In front of your yacht / In front of my parents." Say what you will about Scissor Sisters - they don't play hard to get.

Recommended Tracks: "Any Which Way," "Invisible Light"

By David Malitz  |  June 29, 2010; 10:00 AM ET
Categories:  Quick spins  | Tags: Scissor Sisters  
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