Scissor Sisters | Magic Hour

Casablanca (2012)
By RYAN REED  |  May 22, 2012
2.0 2.0 Stars


"Twist and shout/Boobies hangin' all out," sings Scissor Sister Ana Matronic on the futuristic sci-fi funk of "Keep Your Shoes On," her robo-tastic chirp swallowed in a maze of mind-numbing video-game synth runs and digital blips. In our golden age of radio sterility, where every new Billboard smash offers the same flat, routine Euro-pop template of air-brushed synths and crank-it-to-11 dynamics (and where robots like Katy Perry are go-to sex-camp queens), we desperately need our reliably decadent Scissor Sisters to stir the pot and inject some danger into our iPods. And with "Keep Your Shoes On" (one of two sizzling bangers produced by the Neptunes), frontman Jake Shears and his androgynous electro divas bring the goods with hypnotic ease, teleporting us all to Studio 54 on Mars. For a while, Magic Hour — the band's fourth full-length — lives up to the promise of its hilarious, zebra-centric-2001: A Space Odyssey cover art. But the wheels fall off with "Year of Living Dangerously," a campy, aimless doodle not even rescued by its random violin solo. Gestures other than bitchiness don't suit these guys well — check "The Secret Life of Letters," a woefully straight ballad that's sonically rich but emotionally vacant. Where have all the boobies gone?

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