Album: Scissor Sisters, Magic Hour (Polydor)

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The Independent Culture

There's no surprises here – the usual Scissor Sisters mélange of sex, drug and disco tropes recycled over the usual hustling grooves, one eyebrow ironically raised throughout like a sonic emoticon.

Most tracks do their utmost to condense into party anthems, most successfully on "Inevitable", "Somewhere" and "Keep Your Shoes On". "Year of Living Dangerously" features a poignant violin fill to underscore its paean to freedom, but strings are most effectively used on the downbeat "Secret Life of Letters", a touching portrait of a relationship in stasis that furnishes Jake Shears the opportunity to deliver his most moving vocal in ages.

Download: Inevitable; The Secret Life of Letters; Year of Living Dangerously