| POSTED BY: JOE PUGLISI
It's hard to deny Scissor Sisters accomplish their mission statement-- to embody the breaking of the fourth wall, cracking even the most stoic of listeners into shaking a leg. The band has always been, and remains, a portable party in a recording-size package. As one of the last great acts to fuse four decades of the nebulous "pop" descriptor into something both scratchy-vintage and futuristic, their tunes are always stuck in the present, which admittedly is a weird place to be in today's musosphere. Nonetheless, any argument of boredom on this record is decidedly rooted in a curmudgeonly attachment to the elusive "gravitas" artists are supposed to have. Magic Hour is adrenaline-fueled, sugary fun, even in its slower moments, and the star-fueled collaborative efforts only further serve to establish the band's finger on the pulse without bowing to its exact rhythm.
Perhaps the best offering on the album is "Shady Love," an awesome banger produced by Alex 'Boyz Noise' Ridha and co-written by of-the-moment rapper Azealia Banks (who gets a credit as 'Krystal Pepsy'). Like all good Scissor Sisters material, you can almost see the party in your head as the chorus aggressively churns. Most of the collaborations (like opener "Baby Come Home" with John Legend) happened entirely by chance -- being in the same studio at the same time -- and wind up feeling totally spontaneous and fun rather than calculated and forced. Just like a truly good party should be.