Only the Scissor Sisters could make this work.
The New York band's fourth album, "Magic Hour" (Casablanca), is a delightful hodgepodge of dance styles and collaborators that seem unnervingly mismatched.
One minute, Jake Shears and the gang are working with neo-soul crooner John Legend. The next, Shears is rapping and hot up-and-coming rapper Azealia Banks is singing the hook. Yet, the Scissor Sisters make it all fit together by making a dance album that's shockingly all about, well, fun!
"Baby Come Home," the Legend collaboration, is a throwback to the Elton John-styled, '70s-influenced dance numbers like "Take Your Mama" that made them stars in the first place. "Inevitable," a sleek soul number built with Pharrell, actually feels timeless, as Shears shows off his falsetto and Ana Matronic gets to belt out some big notes. For the first single, "Only the Horses," they team up with hit-making producer Calvin Harris for a song that could easily sit next to Harris' work with Rihanna or Ne-Yo, while keeping the band's quirkiness intact.
After all, that quirkiness suits them well, in the playfully Prince-ish "Keep Your Shoes On" and in Matronic's diva turn, "Let's Have a Kiki."
The experimentation pays off big with "Shady Love," where Shears teams up with Banks for a thrilling slice of booty-shaking electro-pop that will stand as one of the year's best singles.
With "Magic Hour," the Scissor Sisters aim to build a good time and hit the mark time and time again.
SCISSOR SISTERS "Magic Hour"
BOTTOM LINE A wildly eclectic dance album, bursting with fun