The Mississippi Valley Fair kicks off Tuesday here in the Quad Cities and we’re heading out Wednesday night to see The Band Perry. We saw them when they opened for Reba here last fall. It’ll be a great show and Gretel is looking forward to it. Maybe she’s really more excited about the rides and the yummy, unhealthy food that the fair has to offer. So, other than working today through Wednesday while waiting for our concert, what should we do?
I know, let’s have a kiki!!!
Sure, that sound fun, but what is a kiki? We’ll there Kiki Dee that sang “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” with Elton John back in the 1970s. In the 1950s and 1960s, “kiki” was a cultural term in the bars for a lesbian who was neither butch nor femme, and there are other definitions.
However, my reference is to the new song, “Let’s Have a Kiki”, from the American glam dance band, the Scissor Sisters from their new album, “Magic Hour”.
In case you’re not familiar The Scissor Sisters, the band formed in 2001. Actually, they were spawned. That’s their word, not mine. The band claims to be “spawned by the scuzzy, gay life of New York”.
I’ve been a fan of the band since 2004 when a reporter at my old station in Salisbury, Maryland, loaned me a copy of their debut album, “Scissor Sisters” from earlier that year. I listened and I was hooked. That album is still their biggest selling album of the four that they’ve released and it features their first #1 dance hit in America, “Filthy Gorgeous”, in 2005.
Their second album, “Ta-Dah”, came out in late 2006 and featured their biggest hit ever across the world, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’”. It hit #1 and #2 in many countries across the world, but (shock!), American radio would not touch the song, although they performed it on ABC’s “Dancing With the Stars”.
In 2010, they released their album, “Night Work”, which is my favorite album of that year (sorry, Kylie, you were #2). It featured their #1 dance hit, “Fire With Fire” and I was lucky enough to see the band in Chicago that September, front row, baby!
While the band members were born all across the U.S., it has a Kentucky connection since Babydaddy (Scott Hoffmann) grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, and lead singer Jake Shears met him in Kentucky before they moved to New York and were joined by Ana Matronic and Del Marquis to form the Scissor Sisters. There was also drummer Paddy Boom, too. But, he’s been replaced by Randy Real.
Now, you’ve been introduced to the Scissor Sisters and they are glam, baby. But, I still haven’t told you more about this “kiki”. Well, according to the band: “A kiki is a party, for calming all your nerves / We’re spilling tea, and dishing just desserts when they deserve / And though the sun is rising, few may choose to leave / So shade that lid and we’ll all bid adieu to your ennui.”
While there are many contenders, “Let’s Have a Kiki” is probably on the first, second, and third listen, my favorite song from the new “Magic Hour” album. It makes you want to dance and have fun. It’s also the best follow-up to “Supermodel of the World” that RuPaul never released.
Here is the exciting and campy video to the song and then I’ll let you know if the album is any good and where it compares with their other three albums. (WARNING: The word “MF” appears in the song and the word pops up onscreen!)
The deluxe version of the album features 13 songs and 2 additional remixes.
At first listen, I thought, it has some good songs, but it definitely isn’t my favorite Scissor Sisters album. On the second and third listens, it improved greatly.
Jake Shears and Ana Matronic are excellent vocalists. Jake can take you places that only the Bee Gees have been successful in the past. That falsetto is amazing and it stands out on the track, “Inevitable”.
If you love dance music, which I do, you’ll love “Only The Horses”, the first single from the album remixed by supersexy and hot, popular disc jockey Calvin Harris, who scored big with Rihanna’s “We Found Love”. Since then, he’s had two big hits of his own on the radio in America, ‘Feels So Close” and the current hit, “Let’s Go” with Ne-Yo.
“Only the Horses” is currently in the top 5 on Billboard’s Dance Chart. Here’s the video, but it’s probably one of the most head-scratching videos the band has done with them being almost absent from it. However, you can still enjoy the song.
Other standouts on the album are “Keep Your Shoes On”, “Inevitable”, “Only The Horses”, “Let’s Have a Kiki”, “Shady Love”, “Self Control”, ”Best In Me”, “Somewhere”, and “F*** Yeah”.
If you partied back in the 1990s, I’m sure many of you remember Robin S’ “Show Me Love”. Well, while it doesn’t sample the song, “Self Control” definitely takes me back to that time and I just want to dance around the living room. As a matter of fact, I need to go to YouTube to watch Robin S right now.
While the album is solid, it’s not the best of the four they’ve released and I really think that sequencing is the problem. There are a few slow songs that just seem out-of-place where they’re place on the album between dance hits. “Year of Living Dangerously” is just okay and “The Secret Life of Letters” will take many more listens for me not just to skip past it, which is what I’ve done after the first minute or so.
Jake has a beautiful voice and I love his ballads like “Mary”, “It Can’t Come Quickly Enough”, “Return To Oz”, and “Land of A Thousand Words” from their previous albums, but I just can’t get into the ballads on the new album. And, I’m not really fond of the peppy, strange “San Luis Obispo”, but it’s growing on me.
Again, I have many songs on the album that I love, but I can’t stop listening to “Let’s Have a Kiki”.
Since it has a obsecene phallic symbol in two shots of the video, I don’t want to place it in my blog, however, if you’re open-minded, go to YouTube and search “Kiki Scissor Sisters” and choose the fan made “Custom Videodrome Discothèque Video Edit”. It’s an incredible flash back to some of the most amazing and campy images in the history of television and cinema. “Sashay! Shante!”
Here’s a bonus video to “Shady Love” from the album which features the awesome line, “she’s going to vote for Obama and she likes to dance to Madonna”. A band out for my own heart!
So, here’s the bottom line. “Magic Hour” is only my third favorite Scissor Sisters album (out of the four they’ve released ), but it’s still a great album. It’s just that the band’s previous albums are perfect and the bar is set high.
On a scale of five disco balls: