July 8, 2010


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Scissor Sisters, Night Work
Polydor Records, June 29
With Lady Gaga around and consumers pinching pennies, there’s no longer any excuse or need for a band that specializes in danceable baubles to play small-ball. Scissor Sisters know that their time is now — the straights can either go back through the band’s gay-themed back catalog or not, it doesn’t matter, because now is for great songs, tunes that kids and oldsters and hipsters can all dig at the wedding reception. There’s a modicum of shtick on this record, some PG-rated sex stuff no more risqué than When Harry Met Sally (to tilt the odds even further in their favor, Ana Matronic fakes straightness), but other than that it’s a parade of dance-pop singles, whack whack whack, one after another, like a best-of LP without any past to draw from. No strummy half-joke songs or tearful remembrances of dead friends, no Bee Gees falsetto until “Any Which Way” at the #4 spot, and even that one aims for nothing less than Saturday Night Fever soundtrack usability. They’re no longer interested in being some sort of LGBT side dish, they’d rather be ABBA, and may even become that if they keep doing no-filler albums like this. The first two songs bounce on the octave-jumping bass that built ’70s disco but still manage to avoid the gay-disco joke-ology of old, and cripes, it just continues, doling out more hooks than the entire genre has come up with in all its existence, finally exiting on a house note (“Invisible Light”) that doesn’t need remixing from any Eurotrash DJ. Just change the subject when grandma asks about the band name and you can certainly play this at the cookout. A+Eric W. Saeger