Listening to a Scissor Sisters album is like getting into a car with a friend who, while being brash and exciting, might lack a tiny bit of common sense and doesn’t give a damn about it. Finally, after four years, countless scrapped songs, and a near dissolution of the band, we can go on more magical adventures with Jake Shears, Ana Matronic, Baby Daddy, and Del Marquis.
Instead of the theatrics of Ta-Dah and the enjoyable extremes of their self titled debut, Night Work is a seamless journey through a single evening of debauchery that starts off with a wink and a slap on the ass from title track. As the “evening” progresses, the sweet and rapturous “Fire With Fire” and “Skintight” balance out the sleek and murky “Sex and Violence” and “Nightlife”, while the jangly dance pop the band is known for makes an appearance in “Whole New Way.” I am completely in love with “Skin This Cat”, which sounds like the tarty little sister of Nine Inch Nail’s “Closer” amongst the hints of B-52′s and Human League pepper the a rest of the songs. The ecstatic genre-hopping between glam rock, dance pop, and stark ballads from albums past is still there, but it is far more subtle. Really, it’s just a ridiculously smooth ride.
The album’s closing track and climax is the stunning “Invisible Light”, which was released as a pre-album teaser and is nothing short of a dramatic departure. Clocking in at six minutes, it is dark, almost orgasmic (yes, orgasmic) invitation to throw away your inhibitions and dance so fiercely that you forget your own name. Nestled in the middle of the throbbing, clubby breakdown is something surprising- a spoken word section, performed by none other than Sir Ian McKellan (hearing the man who portrayed Gandalf and Magneto speak about “painted whores” and “sexual gladiators” is just amazing.)
Night Work is truly an odyssey of glitter and glamor and far different from their previous releases, but that does not make it any less enjoyable. In fact, it is just as catty and outrageously fun; perfect for any sort of questionable summer antics you might find yourself in.