Review Summary: Night Work: Scissor Sisters's retro-themed sexcapades
For a band to finally embrace all aspects of their persona can be one of the most exciting experiences, in terms of music; when you realize that their personality before was dull in comparison to the new, it alters your perspective of a band and what they can do. Scissor Sisters's Night Work
is a cornerstone of acceptance, showcasing the pop group's full-blown dive into gay culture. As if the cover wasn't obvious enough, you've got the band's back catalog to support the claim. Before they were suggestive; now they're as straightforward as possible with homosexuality in all its forms. Hell, even the music is effeminate retro-pop, complete with flamboyant camp and exaggerated dance flair.
Scissor Sister's latest and greatest begins with what can easily be considered as a symbolic au revoir
to their seventies pastiche, quickly doin' the hustle on into the early eighties when disco-lite met pop and what would soon be called new-wave in spectacular fashion. Synthesizers go at it, buzzing and chirping away while relatively simple drum beats and charismatic vocals make their way to the spotlight. "Invisible Light" is the most enthralling and humorous combination of these sounds, featuring a hysterical Italo-disco-clubber rendition, and if that wasn't dazzling enough, the irresistible synthesis of new-wave, synthpop, and epic proportions propels the track higher than thought possible. "Harder You Get" is a track that shows Night Work
's blatant homoeroticism. "You won't escape alive/Of what's become your life /Stop crying like a child /You got what you want/And what I really want to do tonight/is toughen you up." Cuddly, right? The longer you listen, the more these sort of situations pop up.
They seem to criticize the surprising amount of drug use within their target audience on "Running Out" as well as the self-induced financial holes. "Skin Tight" is as obvious as innuendo can be: "Cause your skin tight /Fit me like a glove /Skin tight/Wrap me in your love." All of Night Work
's tracks share similar subject matter, even if the tone, along with the music, gets more sardonic and dark as we approach the end.
These tracks approach the album's sound in a way that, even though you'd think it would be an obvious move, comes across as refreshing. No, it's not more vibrant - that's impossible in comparison to the colorful dance arrangements already in place. It takes a turn for the worse, capturing the feelings of someone yearning for human connection in an environment where it's all one-night stands. It's probably the smartest move the band's made so far in their career, because this makes the record all the more accessible; both gay and straight can relate to the feelings surrounding this half of the album. But the first half... not so much.