VIDEO MIX: McFly, M.I.A., Scissor Sisters, Jay Sean, Kris Allen and Alexandra Burke

I’m sure it’s probably come to your attention that I’ve been neglecting much of my blogging duties this month. This is partly due to my laptop charger breaking and my laptop being out of action for the first two weeks but it’s also due to me partly being completely disillusioned with the current music scene recently and my new addiction to Buffy The Vampire Slayer. Yes, sadly I’m a sucker for the current vampire craze (no pun intended)! Anyway, a crop of music videos have premiered recently. Some only premiered today, others about a week ago. I’ve wasted enough time already so let’s get started.

Mc Fly: Party Girl

Clearly, it’s not just me that’s being immersed in the vampire craze, McFly are wrapped up in the world of fangs and frighteners also. And as depicted in the image above are here to sell the sex too.

The music video is a fast, frantic piece with some really strong visuals but I’m on the fence about McFly’s contrived new direction. Not only does their new single successfully rip off Lady GaGa’s monster electro hit Bad Romance but the guys have also taken a leaf out of Usher and Trey Songz handbook by placing in some gratuitous sex scenes because – y’know – the supernatural and sex are totally in right now, innit?!

What happened to the superhero theme that was supposed to go along with this album? Instead we get a futuristic fantasy horror? Were the McFly guys vampires or werewolves? Plus its a little too similar to the video for Lies from the Radio:ACTIVE era.

Still this is a sharp and sexy comeback single with a sizable hook so I can’t see this NOT doing well. It just comes across a little contrived.

M.I.A.: XXXO

Saviour for the Third World, M.I.A. has FINALLY DELIVERED the music video for XXXO, the official lead single from her third album /\/\ /\ Y /\. The single was released on 12th July but only last week did the music video appear.

So lemme guess, it’s a hugely ambitious music video to rival the ginger genocide and graphic sex depicted in the clip for noisy promo single Born Free? You guessed wrong, I’m afraid. Directed by Hype Williams, the legend who brought us iconic clips for Mariah Carey’s I Want To Know What Love Is and Christina Aguilera’s Not Myself Tonight, the video sees a stunning M.I.A. poses in front of a Bollywood animated green screen with some Internet and prehistoric MySpace imagery thrown in to highlight the album’s futuristic, computer driven campaign.

It’s a decent enough music video even though M.I.A. looks a little dead behind the eyes (hey, it works for Britney!) and the concept is well executed with M.I.A. acting like a soulless popstar who is forced to release a commercial single by her record label. So true to life. But the long wait for the video has led to a huge disappointment. I wonder what caused the delay to go on so long. I wonder if it was M.I.A. herself who delayed the video so it would hinder the chart position of the song and fight the record label’s system?

Scissor Sisters: Any Which Way

After shocking us all with their serious single and music video for Fire With Fire, Scissor Sisters are back to their campy best in the video for Night Work‘s second single Any Which Way. The song which – to be blunt – is about getting fucked in as many positions and situtaions as possible is reminiscent of the Bee Gees and much like the Bee Gees, I can’t tell whether I love or hate this song. I certainly enjoyed their Glastonbury performance of the song which featured Kylie Minogue. It’s a pity they didn’t take the opportunity to release a remix featuring Ms. Minogue as the single. It would be snapped up by the gays like wildfire! I also much prefer Ana Matronic’s outrageous breakdown on this live. It sounds horribly restrained here.

The video is fun. Nothing extraordinary happens in it but we get to see the band fool around with numerous colourful effects and slow motion shots. Jake Shears has plenty of natural charisma to carry the video anyway.

Jay Sean featuring Nicki Minaj: 2012 (It Ain’t The End)

Jay Sean also premiered the music video for his corporate piece of garbage also known as the dance anthem 2012 (It Ain’t The End). I have no respect for Sean because not only is this formulaic, soulless shit but he also had to rope in Nicki Minaj and a video cameo from Birdman to further highlight his unoriginality. I quite like Nicki Minaj’s over-the-top, fast paced rapping until she threw out a “FREE WEEZY” shoutout as if the horse voiced rapper is some kind of martyr.

The video is your typical club video except it’s all original like – because you see people partying from London to Tokyo which has like never happened before in any music video ever! I will give it one point though because Jay looks like he’s having fun as opposed to his usual robotic self. Taio Cruz, take note! Oh and check out the video at 3.04 when Sean can’t contain himself anymore and jizzes all over the poor girl he’s trying to chat up.

Kris Allen featuring Pat Monahan: The Truth

Who? The winner of American Idol 8? Wasn’t that Adam Lambert? Yes in hindsight, it looks like Glambert was the real winner behind American Idol but Kris Allen hasn’t done as badly as people may have expected – he mightn’t have had international success than his former competitor and his eponymous album mightn’t have sold much but his previous single, his own rendition of a Script B-side Live Like We’re Dying did peak at…uh…#18 in the US. Okay, I’m going to stop defending the Arkansas native’s flagging career but keep in mind that he has only released two proper singles while Lambert has released four. (Lambert also got to do the winners song after AI which I think totally undermined Allen).

Anyway, this new single The Truth featuring Pat Monahan of Train fame is a decent second single, a rousing and powerful pop rock ballad from the two able voiced singers. Of course, I said the B word and we all know how ballads do in the charts these days. Case in point: You Lost Me. That said, the track is a radio friendly number and could do well thanks to Allen loyalists and Train’s resurgence in popularity. Neither the song or video are original but there both redeemed by a rousing angsty production and dramatic visuals respectively. I just can’t tell the difference between Pat and Kris’ voice. :O

Alexandra Burke featuring Laza Morgan: Start Without You

After delaying this single so she (or her managment team) could stick another bloody rap feature on one of her singles, Alexandra Burke premiered  the music video for her new RedOne produced single Start Without You.

WOW! Alexandra looks ABSOLUTELY FUCKING DELICIOUS IN THIS VIDEO! I’m in awe and I think I have someone new to obsess over. While the video is a rushed Recession Special, I couldn’t care less as long as I get to drool over Alexandra dancing around in her see through one-piece. But there’s something for everyone in this video as Alex also makes sure she sexually objectifies a bunch of muscular toned men but manages to pull it off because of her charming, sassy personality. I’m telling you she’s clearly taking a leaf out of her idol Beyoncé’s book with her questionable attitude towards men.

Now, this is where my praise ends. I appreciate the new dancehall direction Burke has gone in but this sounds like it belongs on the soundtrack to The Jungle Book. To add to the generic quality of Alex’s music, she has another bloody rap feature on the track in the form of Laza Morgan, an American rapper doing a Jafakian accent. This is the second single in a row in which the 23-year-old has reworked a song to feature a pointless rap and her third of her five single catalogue to feature a rap ‘artist’. Honestly, it’s all incredibly contrived and desperate looking. Alexandra should be allowed to stand on her own two feet because these rap features don’t improve the quality of the song but actually hinder it. And I don’t think the urban crowd will enjoy a few sparse lines from an unknown rapper either.

The last minute edition of Morgan to the song have reports suggesting that Alex had to re-film her music video to include him and so this clip we’re seeing is rushed out. Others have speculated that the original tropical video, which you can see a still of below, was scrapped because the single would now be released in September instead of August and others have stated that the original music video is being used to promote the video as Alexandra’s first US single. I think the last option is most likely considering most rap features are copied and pasted into the video and record labels rarely care about what season they release a song in. What do you think?

More Glastonbury goodness: Scissor Sisters, Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys all take to the stage

Gay friendly acts such as Scissor Sisters, Kylie Minogue and Pet Shop Boys all performed at Glastonbury in the last two days.

One of the more notable performances came from the Scissor Sisters who were joined onstage by none other than Kylie Minogue, who was greeted by a tumult of  roars and cheers as she sauntered to the front of the stage, to join Jake Shears and Ana Matronic in a banging performance of new album track Any Which Way – which received a glowing review from OddOne and is probably one of the group’s most raunchy songs to date.

The performance is a lot of fun to watch as the three singers are clearly having a good time and giving it all their energy. Who knew Kylie could do such a creepily similar impression of Jake Shears falsetto? Both ladies looked absolutely stunning and if I were other ways inclined, I’m sure Shears would look good too. Check out the performance below. I hope this gets second single – or maybe they’ll even add a Kylie feature when sending it off to radio.

The Pet Shop Boys also gave a hypnotic performance of West End Girls. From his vocals to the set up of the stage it’s clear that 55 year old singer Neil Tennant can give just as good a performance as his younger contemporaries. Check out the pitch perfect performance below.

Singles Reviews Diary 20 – 18th June 2010

It’s twenty weeks old! It’s twenty weeks old! It’s twenty weeks old! I am so delighted with the achievement of having written twenty of these diaries now and I think I’ve managed to cover pretty much every major single in them. To add to this being the twentieth (week) anniversary of the Singles Reviews Diaries, there are also 20 singles to review below. Check out my reviews and let me know what you think of the songs or the reviews in general. What’s your Track Of The Week? What’s your Stinker? Which band/artist are you really loving at the moment? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

Singles Reviews Diary 20 – 18th June 2010:

01. Adam Deacon and Bashy featuring Paloma Faith: Keep Moving

Adam Deacon & Bashy feat. Paloma Faith - Keep Moving (Explicit Album Version)
While Chipmunk and Tinchy Stryder can be described as the British equivalents to American counterparts Flo Rida and Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em, I think it’s fair to describe Adam Deacon as a British equivalent to T.I. or Jay-Z. Teaming up with fellow occasional actor Paloma Faith, the two create a mature but not entirely original hip-hop track witha soulful chorus. Faith’sbeautiful vocals bring a hint of retro-ness to the track while Deacon is a surprisingly good rapper. Bashy joins halfway through to add a little diversity to the track. What we get in the end is a fairly typical hip-hop track – but a
very good fairly typical hip-hop track at that! 3.5 STARS

02. Ash: Spheres

Ash - S
This is Single Letter S from Ash’s
A-Z Series. They should really get to promoting this single because it’s probably the best track we’ve heard from the singles collection so far. Ash’s music is normally simple catchy pop rock but with Spheres, we see the Northern Irish trio go over to the dark side. Featuring an eerie piano line which runs from the intro throughout the whole song, pounding drums and a hammering bass. It all comes to a stunning climax when the guitars crunch up and the chorus becomes more aggressive. The song is definitely worth a buy. 4 STARS

03. The Automatic: Cannot Be Saved

The Automatic - Cannot Be Saved
The Automatic return with the third single from their
Tear The Signs Down LP. If you’ve heard Automatic before – and many of you have – remember that song ”What’s that coming over the hill, is it a monster? Is it a monster? – then you’ll know what to expect. A song that doesn’t take too seriously, a fun shout-along punk pop track that travels at 100 mph, this isn’t going to be the highlight of the year. But it’s a fun track to add to that Summer playlist. 3.5 STARS

TRACK OF THE WEEK!
04. Big Boi featuring Cutty: Shutterbug

Big Boi / Cutty - Shutterbugg (Explicit Version)
One half of the genre defining hip-hop duo Outkast and the lesser known member to Andre 3000, Big Boi has struck out on his own with new single
Shutterbug and like his band continues to show some innovation in hip-hop. While hiring an R&B singer like Cutty to croon over the song isn’t entirely original, this track is all about Big Boi. Lacking any real chorus, Big Boi raps along with an incredible flow while the instrumentation of funky ‘80s synths, drumclaps and samples of Soul II Soul’s Back To Reality provide the main hooks of this song. I really love this track because it has a chilled out yet cocksure vibe that you rarely hear in rap nowadays. I’m seriously looking forward to Big Boi’s album now. 5 STARS

05. Cypress Hill featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony: Armada Latina

Cypress Hill featuring Pitbull and Marc Anthony - Armada Latina (feat. Pitbull and Marc Anthony)
Sigh. Another week. Another Pitbull feature. Why must he torment me so?! That said Cypress Hill’s track will provide a little Latin flavour this Summer. With a repetitive “oooh-oooh-oooh” hook running through the song, Jennifer Lopez’s husband Marc Anthony provides the Spanish sung chorus while the rapping is provided in English by Cypress Hill and Pitbull. Cypress Hill’s rapping is fairly passable and Pitbull continues to rap random words in Spanish over an unrelated rap about him not being an “asshole”. Right. *side eye*. Still those oooh-oooh hooks and Marc Anthony’s chorus is what make this must have on the Summer playlist. But then again…I am a sucker for pretty much every Spanish song in existence.
4.5 STARS

06. Daisy Dares You: Rosie

Daisy Dares You - Rosie
This is a pretty catchy pop rock jam with a massive chorus. That said so was her last single
Number One Enemy. And that song drove me mad for a few weeks. Daisy manages to provide radio friendly fodder that will get airplay all over the place before being completely forgotten about in a few weeks. I appreciate the fact that Daisy has said she wants to stay away from the clichéd teen romance lyrics on her debut album, something she’s managed so far, singing about rowing with her sister Scarlet (ginger?) and backing up her friend Rosie (another ginger?)but she hasn’t managed to stay away from the clichéd Auto-Tune. Plus the electro breakdown with the fast paced rap doesn’t really gel well towards the end. All I’m hearing is a Z-grade Avril Lavigne mixed with a Z-grade Lily Allen. But points for only being 16 and making music a little more bearable than other 16 year olds *cough Justin Bieber*cough*.2.5 STARS

07. Dan Balan featuring Katie DiCicco: Chica Bomb


WTH? Why is Dan Balan credited as a lead artist on this track when Katie DiCicco, the sexy, breathy singer isn’t even credited? Last time I looked, practically whispering “chica-chica-bomb” over an unoriginal Eurodance backing constituted this being his song. I would give this Stinker Of The Week but DiCicco’s breathy vocals are seductive (I may be blinded by my urge to have sex with her), the cheesy Ibiza beats are just right for Summer and the middle eight is actually rather gorgeous. Dan Balan is a complete tool though. Many of you will agree with me as he was one-third of defunct band O-Zone (
The Numa Numa Song), possibly the most annoying Moldovan poppers anywhere. 2.5 STARS

08. Declining Winter: Official World Cup Theme 2010


Something for the UK to be proud of, Declining Winter have been given the honourary role of providing the theme song for World Cup 2010. Really it’s a strange choice of theme song, it doesn’t particularly draw you in or have a very celebratory sound. In fact, it’s very ‘indie’ and brooding in its sound. The instrumentation is rather good though with some beautiful string sections. Only the end of the song with some World Cup commentary makes you actually believe this song is for the World Cup though.
3 STARS

09. Dirty Money featuring Rick Ross and T.I.: Hello Good Morning

Diddy - Dirty Money / T.I. - Hello Good Morning (Explicit Version)
Diddy, Timbaland called and asked what you’re doing right and what he’s doing wrong. Because
Hello Good Morning sounds like it could have been released as a single of Timbaland Presents: Shock Value. Seriously? Yup. Diddy and his new ‘band’ of female rappers spit out some clichéd lyrics about being in a club and being so ‘fly’ with a little help from Rick Ross and recently freed T.I. over some wonky synths. It offers nothing new to the table at all but if you liked the singles from Timbaland’s FIRST Shock Valuealbum, then you should like this. Plus the epic breakdown at the end reminds us of why Sean Combs aka Puff Daddy aka P. Diddy aka Diddy is one of the most revered rappers out there. 3 STARS

10. Feeder: Call Out


‘90s rockers make a return with a big heavy rock number that grabs your attention as soon as the opening chords kick in at a lightning speed. Combined with a catchy chorus, Feeder have returned with a solid lead single from the forthcoming album
Renegades. Hopefully with the right promotion and airplay, this track can introduce the band to a whole new generation. 4.5 STARS

STINKER OF THE WEEK!
11. Justin Bieber: Never Let You Go


This is simply being released as a promo single so its unlikely to blow up like previous singles
One Time and Baby, thank goodness. Now I could be nice and say I’m that I’m not 3 years old so I’m not the target market for this audience. However, J. Bieber has just released another stinker that only his die-hard fans can enjoy. I’ll admit Baby grew on me eventually and his forthcoming single with Usher Somebody To Love is actually rather good but this…this is just terrible! Not only is it bland, insipid and clichéd but who wantsto hear an eight-year-old boy sing about heartbreak in the form of an Auto-Tuned ballad. Yeah, we’re really reading into your soul there, Justin. Stick to the catchy dance-pop, methinks! 1 STAR

12. Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg: California Gurls

Katy Perry featuring Snoop Dogg - California Gurls (feat. Snoop Dogg)
Despite it’s huge commercial success, this song has divided critics. Probably Katy’s own fault for declaring this as the LA equivalent to Jay-Z and Alicia Keys’ timeless modern classic
Empire State Of Mind. Now California Gurls will probably be timeless too – but more in the way of “Oh crap! I can’t believe I actually liked that song” and then giving it a sneaky listen on your iPod or whatever replaces iPods in the future. BecauseCalifornia Gurls is just a fun pop song – nothing more. Combining Calvin Harris like synths, ‘90s wah-wah guitars, sunny melodies, a West Coast rap and a gigantic chorus, I think California Gurls deserves its huge success it will have this Summer. Oh sure, some of it sounds like Ke$ha’s TiK ToK and its clearly gimmicky but that doesn’t matter, as it is the must have song to play at the pool party this Summer. The song is so hot…my popsicle just melted. 4 STARS

13. K’nann: Wavin’ Flag (Celebration Mix)

K'Naan - Wavin'  Flag (UK Version)
The original version. The Young Artists For Haiti version. The will.i.am and David Guetta featured version. This Celebration Mix. I am absolutely sick to my teeth of this song and its many incarnations. Even though a few months – hell, a few weeks ago – I would have being encouraging you all to start checking out K’nann. No need now he’s so well known. Now, I know K’nann wrote this song but nothing for me will trump the Young Artists For Haiti version of this song. NOTHING! I find the verses are a bit lyrically clunky on this but that chorus still gives me goosebumps everytime it’s sung. So credjt to K’nann for writing such an inspirational chorus and introducing this song to the World. A few points off though for the song’s overexposure.
3.5 STARS

14. Pearl Jam: Amongst The Waves

Pearl Jam - Amongst The Waves
The third single from Pearl Jam’s
Backspacer album finds the band in an uplifting mood with some inspirational, gruff yet impassioned vocals from Eddie Vedder. This is a great rock mid-tempo that really picks up towards the end with some great guitar solos from Stone Gossard. One of the standout tracks from the album, this is another Summer playlist option if you want to shake it up a bit. 4 STARS

15. Rihanna featuring Slash: Rockstar 101


This is only being released as a promo single over here so no need to worry if you’re tired of Rihanna overexposure or think
Te Amo has been cancelled. This track is probably one of the weakest songs of Rihanna’s Rated R. Although the prospect of Slash appearing as a feature on this track initially sounds exciting, it wears off pretty quick as this is far more heavy urban than it is rock. Rihanna’s claims of being a rockstar are ridiculous despite her level of swearing, the chorus is repetitive and wears thin fast and the only thing I like about it is the beat heavy production and the guitar solos towards the end. If Rihanna wanted to release some rock numbers from the album, she could have chosen the absolutely brilliant Fire Bomb, Cold Case Love or The Last Song. However, record companies probably thought these ballads would be too depressing after the sunny Rude Boy so have gone with this relatively upbeat track. I’m just glad it doesn’t have an official release over here. Poor America! 2.5 STARS

16. Rusko featuring Amber Coffman: Hold On


Dubstep producer Rusko, who has worked on M.I.A.’s new album and also rumoured to be working on Britney Spears’ new record, provides a bass heavy club track here with some decent yet unoriginal vocals from Amber Coffman. There are a few different layers to the song but overall this doesn’t step out too far from the dubstep genre or do anything new. Good club record though.
3 STARS

17. Scissor Sisters: Fire With Fire

Scissor Sisters - Fire With Fire
Starting off as a subdued ballad, this track quickly takes off and becomes a big, anthemic fists-in-the-air dance rock number thanks to Jake Shears’ uplifting vocals and the synth rock instrumentation from the rest of the band. This a terrific comeback single from the New York quintet and as many people have pointed out, it has a whiff of Elton John to it. My only problem is that it’s a bit subtle. Compared to earlier lead singles like
Laura and I Don’t Feel Like Dancing which were instantly infectious, Fire With Fire takes a few spins to get into. In a year where two of our biggest hits have song titles that are misspelled (California Gurls) or an Internet/text speak acronym(OMG), can this song have any lasting appeal when attention spans appear to be getting lower and lower? 4.5 STARS

18. Shout For England featuring Dizzee Rascal and James Corden: Shout

File:Shout by Dizzee Rascal and James Corden.jpg
The only good thing about this song is the Tears For Fear and Blackstreet samples. The rest of the song is utter cack. This is probably the most creative thing Simon Cowell has put his name to but then again that’s not saying much considering
The X-Factorwinner singles. I’ve lost all respect for Dizzee Rascal as a rapper and James Corden always annoyed me and I don’t find him particularly funny. This is basically a crowd shouting aloud to the rhythm of Shout which I don’t find particularly appealing because I can hear that down in my local at the weekends anyway. 2 STARS

19. Tegan And Sara: Alligator


Fresh from their recent collabo with Tiësto, Canadian duo Tegan and Sara have just released new single
Alligator over here. I’ve just figured that the two girls have those distinctive, borderline annoying vocals that Irish band Heathers have. The song is a catchy little toe-tapper but in all honesty, the girls have brought out much better. This sounds like it should be soundtracking the latest Apple ad…which is maybe T&S’s goal. Either way, enjouable but passable. 3 STARS

20. Wolfmother: Far Away

File:WolfmotherFarAway.jpg
I’m definitely noticing a 1970s Led Zeppelin vibe with this song. Amongst an electric piano, acoustic guitar and laidback drums, lead vocalist Andrew Stockdale sings in a relatively toned down voice compared to what we’re used to hearing from him. His voice definitely has echoes of Robert Plant, Axl Rose and to a lesser extent Jack White. If you’re looking for something that recalls a little ‘70s rock, then this is your song. Although to me, this is kind of your typical indie love song and doesn’t come close to Zeppelin. Still, this Aussie band don’t do a bad job of paying homage to them so I’ll keep an eye out to see if they progress in sound and maturity.
3.5 STARS

Album Review: Scissor Sisters: ‘Night Work’ by guest contributor OddOne

File:Nightlifescissorsisters.jpg

NOTE FROM SEÁN: I think I’ve prattled on about my life being pretty busy at the moment so I don’t have time to contribute to this blog as much as I would like. One of the things I have missed out on is album reviews. I just don’t have the time to listen to albums at the minute and won’t be able to post any for a while yet. Never fear though, the brilliant OddOne, a regular commenter on BBC Chart Blog, has allowed me to post his album review for the new Scissor Sisters’ record.

OddOne is an excellent writer and definitely has a brain in his head when it comes to music so I think many of you will enjoy his track by track review. Once I get more settled, I will also be doing track by track reviews of albums although they will have a different format to them than OddOne’s.

Enough out of me! Read OddOne’s take on the New York quintet’s third studio album below.

Click the song title to link you to YouTube where you can hear the song.

Well, that was quick….. I dunno what I must’ve been on last night but it’s now official, Night Work maybe a grower… but its AMAZING! And not the kind of amazing I’d use describe a hot new artist or even an established one… this is a WHOLE new level! So I would like to withdraw ALL my previous commets about the album.

Right, I think this calls for another uber-long post. Track by track review yes? Yes.

01. Night Work (5 STARS)

One of the rockier moments on the album, it’s a sure-fire single with a Bee-Gees-esque chorus and an irresistably dancey, guitar-driven production. The guitars are combined with a super-seductive bass and countless synths. The song is dying to drag your posterior straight onto the dance floor because the “week day, nine-to-five shift is over”. This is the kind of song kids and adults can sing along to, because it’s bascially about getting wrecked on the weekend, but that story is hidden so well the kids will just see it as ‘that other catchy song I heard on the radio this morning’.

02. Whole New Way (3.5 STARS)

Rubbery synths, euphamisms, crescendos and catchy “Ooohs” pretty much makes this song. There’s a slight electro-raggae sound, I think (someone please agree or I’ll just look mad!) And the chorus features a bouncy, euphamistic hook-like about finding “a whole new way to love you”. Plenty of very clever lyrics and one of the best middle eights I heard this year, this song really makes you feel like you’re in a dirty bondage bar on a Saturday night… on a strictly business related visit, I assure you. 😉

03. Fire With Fire (5 STARS)

File:Scissor Sisters Fire With Fire.jpg

A real stand-out, but only because, as I’ve said before, it’s different lyrically, in it’s attitude, it’s production, and it’s commercial value. Clearly the most commercial song on the album, it’s the huge chorus and gradual development from ballad to firey dance number than being thrown into that explosive second chorus that make this one of the Scissor Sisters’ best hits. It does seem out of place sandwhiched between song as dirty as they are, though.

04. Any Which Way (4.5 STARS)

This song starts with a siren. Good idea, and very apt. This song is HUGE! This is the Scissor Sister impersonating the Bee-Gees at their very best. Brilliantly composed verses backed-up with a seriously bouncy bassline. Then the chorus. Wow. Again. Like, really. A hugely catchy production with syncopated chords and another one of those rubbery synths. Then along comes the wacky Ana Matronic with a spoken interlude about “taking her” in front of… well I’d better not spoil the surprise. 😉 A final crescendo with absolutely flawless production makes this a stand-out track.

05. Harder You Get (4.5 STARS)

Jake Shears employs a super-deep register on this track, his vocals deliberately seductive, singing about some “apples” and how he wants you to “grab ’em”. It’s not before the chorus on this one – only 34 seconds in – and I wouldn’t have it any other way. This has to be one of the chatchiest choruses on the album; another rockier number, combined with the synths to create very much an bubblegum-on-the-brain scernario. Add some dirty lyrics about “sweat” and “being wet” and a few “do do doo do doo”s and you’ve got yourself another hit in the bag for the Scissor Sisters.

06. Running Out (4 STARS)

Overall, this is one of the cleaner moments (sigh of relief!). Still, a very upbeat number with quick-fire lyrics about running out of “money, luck, love” as well as naughty substances show that the attitude hasn’t let up just yet. Descending lines about giving more put i in the right mood for going out and partying. A sing-off between Jake and Ana add comedy to this song, and there’s something about the synths in that chorus that make this one one of the best to have on repeat.

07. Something Like This (4 STARS)

With heavy drums and plenty of stuttery synths joined with a catchy opening verse, the dirty sound is BACK! BACK! BACK! Jake now wnats to show you “something like this”. If you imagine those three words sung really high, then imagine the lowest note of Jake’s register for the word “goes”, and then repeating that phrase over and over, you’ve got it. More and more elements are added, to ensure you don’t get bored of the audio eroticism going in inside your ear-drums. Only after the second chorus does this song really take off. Lots of falsetto “la la la”s to sing along to aswell.

08. Skin This Cat (2.5 STARS)

A retriggered vocal line from Ana Matronic introduces this song, which sees hear slick, seductive vocals whisper huskily about about how there’s “a million million ways to skin this cat”. A tension-building bridge introduces very retro sounding blips and bleeps that aren’t to different from the Pac Man era, circa 1982. It’s then when you realise the whole song’s production could’ve been borrowed from that game. That and the no real sense of drama unfortunately out-weigh the positives this song gives.

09. Skin Tight (5 STARS)

In this song it appear Jake’s had enough of dominating you and now he wants the love back: “wrap me in your love/you’re so skin tight”. A euphoric, piano intro leads on to Jake’s vocoded vocals singing about loving someone tightly. Then the beat comes in and the mood lifts but it’s the chorus that really moves the song into the emotion I like to call ‘elation’. A huge chorus about Jake being wrapped in someone else’s love means this is surely going to another single; it’s very radio-friendly and in the same vein as ‘Night Work’, in the adults and kids can enjoy it harmlessly. This song ends with a pulsing bassline and leads straight into the next song.

10. Sex And Violence (5 STARS)

Starting where ‘Skin Tight’ left off, then song, as you can imagine, is much sexier, has much huskier vocals, a darker production and element of new wave music. Sliding synths accompany the pounding beat and after what appears to be a slightly boring verse a crescendo into the energetic yet melancholy chorus. This song continues to get louder until the last minute where the sliding synths lead into a typical Pet Shop Boys climax. in fact, I’d say there was quite an obvious bit of Niel Tennant in Jake Shears’ vocals on this one.

11. Nightlife (4.5 STARS)

Another slower number, with plenty of vocoded “Woo-Woo”s to tantalise before a singular beat and plenty of distortion create the all-important suspense. On ‘Night Work’ Jake was a “young boy”, on this one he’s claiming he was a “young girl”… okay make your mind up… Still, the beat just increased by about 24 bpm. This is no longer a slow number. It’s an all-guns-blazing; let’s-have-a-party; I-can’t-just-stay-inside- vibed track about craving the nightlife. This has one of the best choruses on the album, with a call and response style single liner, then the whole band retaliating with “NIGHTLIFE” to create another standout track.

12. Invisible Light (featuring Sir Ian McKellen) (5 STARS)

Well, many of you have heard this one, but for those of you who haven’t, it’s a hypnotic, tension-y, bassy, then synthy, then beat-y track with metallic chords to accompy Jake’s dulcit tones about being “at the doors of Babylon”. Every few seconds this song get bigger, and bigger, and bigger. Neither sexual nor fun, and nor is it sad, this song is androgynous as they come, with a simply maginficent chorus to carry the brilliance of the bridge into the ever-climatic chorus. This song’s production also has a hint of Pet Shop Boys to it. Oh and by the way, this is most definitely a standout track, and may just be the best thing the Scissor Sisters have ever done. Oh, and Ian McKellen says ‘painted whores’… DOES THIS SONG LACK ANYTHING!?!?

So there. While I originally called it ‘too sexual’, ignore that! This is the best album of the year so far by a clear country mile.

Simply The Best: Invisible Light

Other Standouts Worth A Download: Night Work, Fire With Fire, Any Which Way, Harder You Get, Skin Tight, Sex And Violence, Nightlife

Only If You Must: Whole New Way, Running Out, Something Like That

Give It A Miss: Skin The Cat

OVERALL RATING: 4/5

Pretty much the whole thing then… Smiles all ’round!

Written by: OddOne

Watch the Scissor Sisters new video ‘Fire With Fire’

I know I’m late with this news but the Scissor Sisters have released the music video for their new single Fire With Fire. The uplifting (and surprisingly non-schreechy) anthem is the first single to be taken from their forthcoming album Night Work, set for release on 28 June.

The video is, to quote Digital Spy, a “simple yet effective” performance based video with Ana Matronic, the band’s only female, looking particularly gorgeous.