Scissor Sisters: Night Work

Artist: Scissor Sisters

Title: Night Work
Release date: June 29
Label: Downtown

At the end of the day, I'm not sure what this new Scissor Sisters record adds up to. But it almost doesn't matter, because the opening title track is so good that it practically carries the weight of the record all by itself.

"Night Work" is a three-minute, eight-second tour de force of glam rock and aggressive disco, a simple, 1980s-style, Flashdance-esque tale of a protagonist with big dreams but a bleak reality who can overcome that reality if he catches that train by midnight to do his -- cue monster-size chorus -- "Night Work."

It's one of the best feel-good songs of the year and a should-be club hit. I can't stop listening to it.  

Nothing else quite matches the greatness of "Night Work," but there are far more highlights than lowlights on this slightly overlong and stylistically scatter-shot record. It's a high-energy, hook-filled trip through Scissor Sisters' world, a nighttime-only urban scene populated by oversexed clubbers. "Any Which Way," for example, features their best Bee Gee's imitation as they sing, "The night don't last forever / So get your shit together" in an ode to "doing it" any which way. 

As the record progresses, the song titles tell the story: "Nightlife," "Sex and Violence," and the awesome "Skin Tight." With some tighter editing, this album could've been the best dance-party album of the summer. But some draggy moments sap some of the infectious energy on Night Work. Still, it's pretty hard not to get swept in Scissor Sisters' good times.

Best song: "Night Work"
Rotation: Heavy
Deja Vu: Lipps Inc. meets Bee Gee's meets Devo meets Sparks meets Blondie meets ELO.
I'd rather listen to: Devo's new one.
Grade: B+

"Nothing Not New" is a yearlong project in which New Times editorial operations manager Jay Bennett, a 41-year-old music fan and musician, will listen only to music released in 2010. Each Monday through Friday, he will listen to one new record (no best ofs, reissues, or concert recordings) and write about it. Why? Because in the words of his editor, Martin Cizmar, he suffers from "aesthetic atrophy," a wasting away of one's ability to embrace new and different music as one ages. Read more about this all-too-common ailment here.

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