The Scissor SistersfollowedNight Work's dancefloor triumphs withMagic Hour, a set of songs that seem more comfortable when they don't feel like dancing. Not that the group doesn't try to keepNight Work's momentum going:Jake Shears,Ana Matronic, and company recruitedPharrell WilliamsandCalvin Harristo co-produce a couple of tracks, and invitedAzealia Banksto rap on "Shady Love." It's just that, much like onTa-Dah!, this timeScissor Sisters' skill at writing more introspective pop songs is that much sharper, and more prominent.Magic Hourshows its hand right away with the great opening track "Baby Come Home," possibly the band's most appealing single since "Don't Feel Like Dancin'" and definitely a showcase for the band's AM pop songwriting mastery -- they're still the best among the many acts who dig through '70s and early-'80s pop for inspiration, such asMika,Chromeo, andElectric Guest.Pharrell helps the band attain breezyBee Geesnirvana on "Inevitable," andShearsshines on "San Luis Obispo"'s sunny, strummy pop and "Best in Me," which puts a melody that would easily fit on one ofScissor Sisters' more retro tracks to a briskly contemporary arrangement. When the band does try to pick up the pace, the results are mixed: sometimes they work their kinetic magic, as on the aerodynamic "Keep Your Shoes On" and theMatronicshowcase "Let's Have a Kiki," an anthem about low-rent fabulosity and justified cattiness, but too often their attempts to get things moving feel contrived: despiteBanks' fierce flow, "Shady Love" just doesn't have the impact it should (although a more inspired remix would take care of that). WhileMagic Hourmay not be as satisfying to fans who just wanna dance as albums likeNight WorkandScissor Sisterswere, it should please those who enjoy the band's formidable songwriting skills as much as cutting a rug -- and at the very least, it reaffirms thatScissor Sistersstill have more depth than some people give them credit for.
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