The weather has changed for the better and that makes you feel good. A new Scissor Sisters album, their fourth ‘Magic Hour‘, has the same result. You can not help but liking them they just seem to hit the right button and this winning formula seems to be evident on this vibrant new collection. It starts with the 70’s vibe of ‘Baby Come Home‘ and this is a song with a catchy chorus that will no doubt be a future single. By contrast ‘Keep Your Shoes On‘ is an up to date track using vocal effects aimed at the dance floor in the same realms as Madonna is currently releasing. Things slow down for ‘Inevitable‘ and the first thing that comes to mind is the Bee Gees performing a ballad. Well Jake Shears can really hit those high notes just as well as the Gibb family it would seem. The backing vocals are superb on this. Is this a missing track of the soundtrack ‘Saturday Night Fever‘?
Next up is the first single ‘Only The Horses‘ radio friendly upbeat song that works well in any environment it is played. Ripe for the re-mixers to have a field day. ‘Year Of Living Dangerously‘ has the same beat as Jon & Vangelis‘ ‘State Of Independence‘ with the electronic percussion at the fore. They sing “…this is my year“, it seems with each album this would be the case. The Latin dance fuelled ‘Lets Have A Kiki‘ starts of with one of those radio phone calls. Though I doubt this will have very little radio airplay due to the F word usage throughout the song.
The rap inspired ‘Shady Love‘ which was to be the lead single is next which manages to name check the President and other famous folk. The bass synthesiser keeps the beat up at a decent pace and Azealia Banks vocals on here compliment the song well. The story telling ‘San Luis Obispo‘ steadies the ship on far more calm waters, almost acoustic. ‘Self Control‘ is the real killer dance track on the album, which could pay homage to the likes of Ce Ce Peniston and Soul II Soul. The thing about them is no two songs are the same as ‘Best In Me‘ a mid tempo affair does what it says, another contender for being a single?
‘The Secret Life Of Letters‘ the ballad begins with just Jake and a piano which then grows with an orchestral and choral feel slotted in. The production by the band and Alex Ridha throughout is top-notch. As with the debut album the best track is left to last ‘Somewhere‘ is a rich joyous track that with each minute builds up. The vocals “extraordinary lives keep crashing and tumbling by” sums up the band members excellently when they are mixed together they really do produce a magic hour!
Ms Matronic‘s message ends the standard album off. But as with every previous album there are bonus tracks. Those do depend where you buy it from. The UK version has two takes on ‘F**k Yeah‘ a rap dance-floor song that even when swears does not offend you. Between these is a remix of ‘Lets Have A Kiki’ which is still the weakest track on a very good collection. 8/10 sits perfectly by their other albums.