Magic Hour (Scissor Sisters album)

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Magic Hour
Studio album by Scissor Sisters
Released May 25, 2012 (2012-05-25)
Genre Dance-pop, dance-rock, nu-disco, alternative rock, glam rock, new wave, house
Length 43:46
Label Polydor
Producer Scissor Sisters, Calvin Harris, Stuart Price, Alex Ridha, Pharrell Williams
Scissor Sisters chronology
iTunes Festival: London 2010
(2010)
Magic Hour
(2012)
Singles from Magic Hour
  1. "Shady Love"
    Released: March 7, 2012 (2012-03-07)
  2. "Only the Horses"
    Released: May 13, 2012 (2012-05-13)
  3. "Baby Come Home"
    Released: July 22, 2012 (2012-07-22)[1]
  4. "Let's Have a Kiki"
    Released: September 11, 2012 (2012-09-11)[2]

Magic Hour is the fourth studio album by the American group Scissor Sisters, released on May 25, 2012 by Polydor Records. The first single from the album was initially "Shady Love" but was later replaced by "Only the Horses", co-produced by recording artist and DJ Calvin Harris, which entered and peaked at number twelve on the UK Singles Chart.

Background[edit]

Lead singer Jake Shears tweeted on October 31, 2011, that the album was almost finished. A song from the new album titled "Shady Love" debuted on Annie Mac's BBC Radio 1 show on January 2, 2012 which features guest vocals from Azealia Banks and Jake Shears under his pseudonym Krystal Pepsy.

Shears said the new record is "a sweet joyful mélange of beat-driven future-pop. It style-hops all over the place unabashedly."[3] For the record, the band worked with a diverse list of collaborators, including Calvin Harris, Pharrell Williams, Diplo, Alex Ridha and Azealia Banks.

The album was recorded over the previous year in both New York and London. On March 13, 2012, Scissor Sisters announced the title of their fourth album and announced that the album would be released on May 28, 2012, in the UK and May 29, 2012, in the US. The first single, "Only the Horses", was officially released on May 13, 2012.[3]

Shears revealed in the bonus DVD that the song "The Secret Life of Letters" is the only song that was not newly written for the album. In some countries, "Fuck Yeah" is included as a bonus track together with two other remixes of the album tracks.

The Scissor Sisters are also credited with popularising the slang term Kiki, with its previous use limited to and created in the film Paris Is Burning.[4]

Release and promotion[edit]

Upon revealing the album's title and release date, the band also announced several concerts to promote the release. The band scheduled one show at the Bowery Ballroom in New York on May 6, 2012, and two concerts at London's O2 Shepherd's Bush Empire on May 16 and May 17, 2012, to coincide with the album release. The shows allowed the band to debut the new material in a live setting, a week before the record's official release. Fans were also given an exclusive pre-sale to get early tickets via the band's website.[5]

Singles[edit]

On January 2, 2012, BBC Radio 1 premiered the song "Shady Love". It was set to be released as a single on February 12, 2012, but the release was cancelled for unknown reasons. Instead, "Only the Horses" was released as the album's lead single on April 13, 2012, with a remix EP released on May 13, 2012.[6] On the week of May 8, 2012, the album went up for pre-order on the European iTunes Stores. As a pre-order bonus, "San Luis Obispo" was made available for purchase as a promotional single. Similarly, the track "Let's Have a Kiki" was also made available for streaming on Spotify. "Baby Come Home" was released as the second official single from the album on July 22, 2012.[1] The music video for the song was released on May 30, 2012.[7] "Let's Have a Kiki" was released as the third official single on September 11, 2012 in the US and September 18, 2012 in the UK.[2][8] The single topped the Hot Dance Club Songs chart in the US,[9] following the release of a viral video made for the song by Craig MacNeil of Videodrome Discothèque http://vimeo.com/67549472 that increased exposure for the track.[10] It was subsequently picked up for dance airplay in the US and saw the release of promotional CDs featuring remixes of the track.[11]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic (67/100)[12]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars[13]
Consequence of Sound 3.5/5 stars[14]
Drowned in Sound (6/10)[15]
Entertainment Weekly B[16]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[17]
NME (6/10)[18]
Pitchfork Media (5.3/10)[19]
PopMatters 6/10 stars[20]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[21]
Slant Magazine 2.5/5 stars[22]

Magic Hour received generally positive reviews from critics upon its release. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 67 based on 22 reviews, which indicates "generally favorable reviews".[12]

Mixmag gave the album four out of five and said, "Smoky, slow-paced, disco soul with Bee Gees-style falsetto harmonising, it’s the type of grown-up pop Scissor Sisters can pull off like few others."[23] Similarly, Uncut gave it a score of four out of five stars and said that it was "full of melodies that feel effortless and instantly classic."[12] musicOMH also gave it four stars out of five and said, "This is the sound of a band truly enjoying themselves in the studio, confident enough in their abilities to freely collaborate with other big names."[24] Canadian magazine Now gave the album three stars out of five and said, "The production sometimes eclipses the songwriting."[25]

Some reviews were mixed or negative. The Phoenix gave it two stars out of four and said that it "lives up to the promise of its hilarious, zebra-centric-2001: A Space Odyssey cover art. But the wheels fall off with 'Year of Living Dangerously,' a campy, aimless doodle not even rescued by its random violin solo."[26] No Ripcord gave it three out of ten stars and called it not just "exactly bad", but "boring".[27]

Commercial performance[edit]

The album debuted at number four on the UK Albums Chart with sales of 19,297 copies, behind Gary Barlow's Sing, Paloma Faith's Fall to Grace, and Rumer's Boys Don't Cry.[28]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Baby Come Home"   John Stephens, Scott Hoffman, Jason Sellards, Ana Lynch Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha 3:00
2. "Keep Your Shoes On"   Sellards, Hoffman, Alex Ridha Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha 2:51
3. "Inevitable"   Sellards, Hoffman, Pharrell Williams Scissor Sisters, Pharrell Williams 3:53
4. "Only the Horses"   Sellards, Hoffman, Amanda Ghost, Ridha Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha, Calvin Harris (co.) 3:38
5. "Year of Living Dangerously"   Hoffman, Sellards, Ridha, Thomas Pentz Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha 3:52
6. "Let's Have a Kiki"   Sellards, Hoffman, Lynch Scissor Sisters 3:50
7. "Shady Love"   Sellards, Hoffman, Ridha, Azealia Banks Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha 3:56
8. "San Luis Obispo"   Sellards, Hoffman Scissor Sisters 3:48
9. "Self Control"   Sellards, Hoffman, Lynch Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha (add.) 3:12
10. "Best in Me"   Hoffman, Sellards, Ridha Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha 3:44
11. "The Secret Life of Letters"   Sellards, Hoffman, Joan Wasser Scissor Sisters, Stuart Price 3:48
12. "Somewhere"   Sellards, Hoffman, Ridha Scissor Sisters, Alex Ridha, Stuart Price (add.) 3:40
13. "Ms. Matronic's Magic Message" (bonus track)     0:27

Charts[edit]

Chart (2012) Peak
position
Australian Albums Chart[29] 27
Belgian Albums Chart (Flanders)[30] 72
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia)[31] 74
Canadian Albums Chart[32] 47
Croatian Albums Chart[33] 23
Dutch Albums Chart[34] 68
French Albums Chart[35] 104
Irish Albums Chart[36] 15
Italian Albums Chart[37] 71
Japanese Albums Chart[38] 114
Scottish Albums Chart[39] 4
Spanish Albums Chart[40] 65
Swiss Albums Chart[41] 62
UK Albums Chart[42] 4
US Billboard 200[43] 35
US Dance/Electronic Albums[43] 1

Release history[edit]

Region Date Label
Australia May 25, 2012 Universal Music
United Kingdom May 28, 2012 Polydor Records
United States May 29, 2012 Casablanca Records

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Baby Come Home (Remixes) by Scissor Sisters". HMV Digital. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  2. ^ a b "iTunes - Music - Let's Have a Kiki (Remixes) by Scissor Sisters". iTunes Store. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  3. ^ a b "Scissor Sisters Announce New Album 'Magic Hour' Out May 28Th 2012". Contactmusic.com. March 21, 2012. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  4. ^ Marion, Mitchell. "Scissor Sisters popularise KIKI". News source. GayStarNews. Retrieved 30 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Baggs, Michael (March 13, 2012). "Scissor Sisters announce new album and live dates". Gigwise. Giant Digital. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  6. ^ Eames, Tom (April 6, 2012). "Scissor Sisters unveil Calvin Harris-produced single 'Only the Horses'". Digital Spy. Retrieved April 21, 2012. 
  7. ^ Corner, Lewis (May 30, 2012). "Scissor Sisters unveil "Baby Come Home" music video – watch". Digital Spy. Retrieved July 29, 2012. 
  8. ^ "Let's Have A Kiki (Remixes) (Polydor)". Beatport. Retrieved October 14, 2012. 
  9. ^ "Let's Have a Kiki – Scissor Sisters". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  10. ^ Caulfield, Keith (July 17, 2012). "Scissor Sisters' Viral Video 'Let's Have a Kiki' Kicks Up Sales". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Scissor Sisters – Let's Have A Kiki (CDr)". Discogs. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b c "Magic Hour Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 2, 2012. 
  13. ^ Phares, Heather. "Magic Hour - Scissor Sisters". Allmusic. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  14. ^ Coplan, Chris (May 29, 2012). "Album Review: Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  15. ^ Leedham, Robert (May 24, 2012). "Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  16. ^ Rahman, Ray (June 1, 2012). "Albums: June 1/8, 2012 (Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour)". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  17. ^ Simpson, David (May 24, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour - review". The Guardian. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  18. ^ Elan, Priya (May 25, 2012). "Album Reviews - Scissor Sisters - 'Magic Hour'". NME. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  19. ^ Perpetua, Matthew (May 29, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  20. ^ James, Matt (May 31, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". PopMatters. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  21. ^ Eddy, Chuck (May 29, 2012). "Magic Hour". Rolling Stone. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  22. ^ Keefe, Jonathan (May 29, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". Slant Magazine. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  23. ^ Worthy, Stephen (June 27, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". Mixmag. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  24. ^ Wilton, Michael (May 28, 2012). "Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour". musicOMH. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  25. ^ Ritchie, Kevin (May 31 – June 7, 2012). "Scissor Sisters - Magic Hour". Now. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  26. ^ Reed, Ryan (May 22, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". The Phoenix. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  27. ^ Davison, Mark (June 18, 2012). "Scissor Sisters: Magic Hour". No Ripcord. Retrieved January 9, 2013. 
  28. ^ Jones, Alan (June 3, 2012). "Official Charts Analysis: Gary Barlow LP sells 40k". Music Week. Intent Media. Retrieved June 3, 2012. 
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  31. ^ "Scissor Sisters – Magic Hour" (in French). Ultratop. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 4, 2012. 
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  33. ^ "Top Kombiniranih – Tjedan 24. 2012." (in Croatian). Hrvatska Diskografska Udruga. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
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  35. ^ "Scissor Sisters – Magic Hour" (in French). Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique. Hung Medien. Retrieved July 23, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Top 75 Artist Album, Week Ending 31 May 2012". Irish Recorded Music Association. Chart-Track. Retrieved June 1, 2012. 
  37. ^ "Artisti – Classifica settimanale dal 28/05/2012 al 03/06/2012" (in Italian). Federation of the Italian Music Industry. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
  38. ^ "シザー・シスターズのアルバム売り上げランキング" [Scissor Sisters album sales ranking] (in Japanese). Oricon. Retrieved September 13, 2012. 
  39. ^ "2012 Top 40 Scottish Albums Archive". Official Charts Company. June 9, 2012. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
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  41. ^ "Scissor Sisters – Magic Hour". Media Control. Hung Medien. Retrieved June 7, 2012. 
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  43. ^ a b "Magic Hour – Scissor Sisters". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved June 7, 2012.