Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Skin Tight

Best of 2010

Song: Skin Tight
Artist: Scissor Sisters
Album: Night Work

As I'm a huge fan of this band since their inception, it's probably no surprise that the Scissor Sisters latest album, "Night Work" tops my year end list.  Now while I still defend letting their maligned sophomore album "Tah-Da" making my list in its year of release, "Night Work" is an even better album, and one that could arguably be their best.

From reports this album, or I should say "Album 3" was their most difficult, and then their easiest to create.  The band wrote a new album that they realized they didn't like, decided to scrap it, brought in producer Stuart Price (Madonna, Kylie) after lead Jake Shears re-connected with nightlife again in Berlin, and "Night Work" was born.  Taking a cue from 70's disco, 80's new wave, and then of course sexuality and drugs, the album is their first that has a true through-line to the music and its themes, with every song being good.

And despite three totally different, and equally great singles... the band still isn't catching on here in the States. The feel-good, anthemic "Fire with Fire," the groovy funk of "Any Which Way," and the future-disco of the revelation "Invisible Light," their latest single shows the band with a new enthusiasm to making music.

But "Night Work" is about much more than the singles.  Lead title track is one of the bands most rocking, "Whole New Way" finds the band at their most sleazy and sexually overt, and "Running Out" crosses Devo with some serious post-millennium tension with help from Santigold.  All could potentially be future singles, along with the peppy "Something Like This."  But the real surprise is "Skin Tight," a beautiful and sexy love song that wrings true emotion out of a safe-sex metaphor for love.  It really is gorgeous, and while the album doesn't contain a straight-up ballad that has been one of the band's forte's... "Skin Tight" is as close as you get, and it's just as majestic.

"Night Work" feels like a triumph even despite them topping "Tah-Da," despite them overcoming working through an entire album of scrapped material... it triumphs because it's filled with so much joy and harkens back to a more exciting time in nightlife and good times in general, bringing it all up to date and current.  The new-found joy in creating music already has the band in the studio creating more music and going in an even more dance direction.  Maybe opening for Lady Gaga early next year will help them evolve even more.  And possibly get a hit here in America as well.


Skin Tight

Night Work

Invisible Light

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