Returning with their fourth album, Scissor Sisters first came to prominence with their self-titled debut in 2004, which ultimately earned them huge sales and three Brit Awards. Collaborations with Kylie Minogue and Elton John serve to underline the admiration peers have for the quintet, who are currently touring North America and will headline UK shows in October.
Regardless of genre the key to huge commercial success falls on the ability to produce undeniable hooks; the sort of sound that everyone knows even if they hate the track in question. It is a talent that Jake Shears and company have displayed throughout their history and becomes instantly evident on opener 'Baby Come Home', a tune built on a simple piano riff and chorus that is grasped in one listen. This is the first of a number of hugely enjoyable pop songs that, when grouped together, border on musical genius. Collaborations with Calvin Harris and Pharrell Williams on 'Only The Voices' and 'Inevitable' are equally thrilling moments of trance and soul respectively, whilst the introspective 'Year Of Living Dangerously' takes a softer approach that is results in a satisfying ambience. It is when the band start to explore their more abstract ideas that 'Magic Hour' falls short of being a perfect electro-pop album, 'Let's Have A Kiki' failing to convert quirkiness to enjoyment and 'Keep Your Shoes' being an early momentum killer. Not to be mistaken as a love song to Eminem, 'Shady Love' is bearable but too closely resembles Kelis' 'Milkshake' at times.and that about covers the few faults to be found here. The running time of an hour isn't complete magic, but Scissor Sisters aren't far off it and this cements their position as one of the best pop bands around.
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