SCISSOR SISTERS play Sound Academy on June 28. See listing. Rating: NNN
After a darkly decadent (and super-gay) detour into sleazy after-hours 80s sounds on 2010's Night Work, Scissor Sisters return to lighter, chart-friendly fare on their fourth album.
Although the after-hours sex club angle is more exciting than this album's grab bag approach, Magic Hour does provide the hangover remedy the New York group seemed in need of. Rollicking John Legend-assisted opener Baby Come Home reminds us why they're one of today's best-sounding pop acts, while Inevitable and San Luis Obispo tap into the classic pop arrangements and relaxed Bee Gees falsetto harmonizing they do so well.
Elsewhere, the production sometimes eclipses the songwriting. Producer Calvin Harris presses all the right euphoria buttons on single Only The Horses; Shady Love pairs gimmicky retro rap with a by-the-book dance build; Self Control indulges in 90s house-pop revival with a catwalk-ready beat; while Ana Matronic does über-camp overkill on kitschy dance number Let's Have A Kiki.
Top track: Baby Come Home