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Scissor Sisters’ Front Man Jake Shears Moves to New Orleans and Drops a Solo Album

The kiki in Brooklyn is over…

The New York Queer Disco Titans, the Scissors Sisters, have been quiet as of late. You could call it an extended hiatus post their never-ending hit “Let’s Have A Kiki,” which continues to please dance floors across the world. But that hasn’t slowed down front man Jake Shears. 2018 has been a busy year for Shears, a starring role in Broadway’s run of Kinky Boots, an autobiography, and now a solo album. Perhaps we could call it the queer artist trifecta?

Recently, Shears decided to up and move from New York City and head south to New Orleans. He was looking for a more authentic way of living and was drawn to the musical brashness of New Orleans. Now many artists have headed down to Nola to be informed by the ‘real’ music and sometimes it ends up as a disaster. Or a mess? And perhaps this one is too – but more like a beautiful mess. His latest album is a great mash up of disco meets jazz with some Cajun rock thrown in. It just might be the best fucking pot of musical jambalaya you’ve ever tasted.

The unique sound of the album is owed much to Shears approach to music and to the fact that it was recorded in Kentucky and New Orleans. Songs were recorded with up to nine musicians playing live (including the Preservation Jazz Hall Band). The album is a lush, glamour-induced rock record which Shears has said was “fucking expensive” to make. While it features many upbeat dance-able tracks, it also feels like his most personal and revealing work yet. Jake Shears is the perfect balance of dirty dance anthems and slow ballads.

Notable upbeat dance tracks include: “S.O.B.” and “Clothes Off.” Both of these tracks feel like the classic Scissor Sisters combos of clever lyrics and catchy dancefloor beats but with some great rock guitar rifts thrown in. This is overblown disco music. While, “Creep City” feels a bit old school grimy but in the best way possible. Throbbing bass lines and wailing horns make this a downbeat danceable track. Finally, “Good Friends” carries on Scissor Sisters’ inimitable legacy of imaginary love themes with kitschy lyrics. And might be your favourite if you miss those sisters.

Some of the ballads on this album could be considered some of Shears’ best, including “Sad Song Backwards,” which feels like a great tribute to his mentor, Elton John. It has that 70s feeling. “Everything I’ll Ever Need” could be best described as a banjo inspired Bee Gees meets The Beatles showstopper. “All for What” glows with a backroom/backwoods glamour; the inclusion of slide guitars feels reminiscent of Roxy Music. And don’t forget “Palace in the Sky.”

Jake Shears, the album, sounds like nothing else in mainstream music right now. And I think that is the point. It may not be commercial but has a damn good collection of songs. This one just might feel the slow burn of success.

Jake Shears the album is out now.

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