Album: Scissor Sisters ‘Night Work’ (Universal)

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The Robert Mapplethorpe photograph emblazoned on the cover of ‘Night Work’ is a brazen mission statement: the Scissor Sisters are back as lurid as ever. This time around production maestro Stuart Price adds polish to the songwriting, embossing the Sisters’ sound with a synth pop sensibility. ‘Fire With Fire’ has all the hallmarks of a classic Killers song right down to Jake Shears’ ‘Brandon Flowersesque’ vocal, while ‘Invisible Light’ is dark disco replete with a spoken word interlude from Sir Ian McKellen that rivals Vincent Price in ‘Thriller’ – except Sir Ian discusses “painted whores and sexual gladiators”.

Pet Shop Boys and various electro influences are apparent on songs such as ‘Sex And Violence’ and ‘Night Life’, which features an opening evocative of ‘West End Girls’ and a guitar outro redolent of The Cure circa ‘Disintegration’.

In between ‘Night Life’ is more akin to something off the ‘Footloose’ soundtrack, and it is this plundering of influences that encapsulates the undeniable charm of the Scissor Sisters; they treat their reference points with irresistible irreverence in creating their own brand of infectious pop.