Scissor Sisters: "Night Work" - my review


Lug 15 2010, 21:02

Night Work, the Scissor Sisters’ third album, has been a long time coming. Lead singer Jake Shears admitted to the band being dissatisfied with and discarding their previous work in early 2009 after 18 months recording time. This lead to his solo, soul-searching journey to Berlin where he found inspiration from the electrifying music scene of the city to write a new album – which ultimately became Night Work. His inspiration called for some high-energy dance tunes and who better to craft this desire than Stuart Price, king producer of retro 70’s/80’s dance goodness. Even the album’s cover art appears to be a cheeky (no pun intended) nod to the time period, bringing to mind Bruce Springsteen’s iconic cover for Born in the U.S.A. turned queer – and surprisingly is not Shears’ ass, but a photograph from 1983 that he stumbled across and knew he wanted as the cover).

The Sisters’ last outing – 2006’s Ta-Dah – featured a more theatrical, show tune theme with a noticeably decreased libido. Night Work, however, is more reminiscent of the band’s salacious, disco-influenced debut and feels like its natural successor in time and maturity. It’s a more cohesive work of art from a band with total confidence in their vision – a non-stop journey through dance heaven, packed with introspective tales and sprinkled with indulgence and debauchery that remind us what we had been missing and why we fell in love with the band in the first place.

Night Work opens the album with a fireball of frantic energy, telling a story reminiscent of Shears’ go-go dancing past. There’s plenty more sexual innuendo and sleaze throughout with Whole New Way, Any Which Way, and Harder You Get all containing cleverly crafted metaphors for various body parts and activities of enjoyment in true Scissor Sisters’ style. The lovely Ana Matronic turns into a sex-prowled vixen on the slinky Skin This Cat, giving her best lead vocals ever and the desire for more. Heartstrings are pulled with Fire With Fire – a dramatic tale brimmed with hope and glory, and Skin Tight - the epitome of an 80’s power ballad with an “it’s you and me ‘til the end” love song with a powerful chorus you can imagine a rain-soaked Shears singing in slow motion. The last three tracks are the most serious, creating a sense of urgency that grips listeners until the very end; Sex and Violence pushes into darker territory with low, brooding vocals, while Invisible Light is a 6-minute, epic album closer, filled with dream-like imagery that serves as the apocalypse to the magnificent journey.

Night Work isn’t just a light throwback to the time period it channels; it’s an authentic embodiment of the sounds and stories of the late 70’s and early 80’s, making you feel as if you’re traveling chronologically through time as the album progresses. In a recent interview, Shears discussed the gay liberation movement of the late 70’s and asked the hypothetical question of what might have been if AIDS hadn’t struck the community so horrifically in the early 80’s; ultimately, Night Work feels like an exploration to answer his own question – musically, lyrically, and through the emotion it invokes – and in doing so, has led to the creation of an incredibly remarkable concept album.

Long live the Sisters.


  • Jack-Spicer

    ya man im so agree with your review. nice review good job.

    Ago 4 2010, 22:43
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