The Scissor Sisters have two incarnations: campy, carefree guitar-driven band, as was the case for early cuts like "Take Your Mama" and "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'," and a new, more hedonistic synth band with one ear to the dance floor and another in the bedroom.
The latter vibe dominated the band's third album, Night Work, with tunes riddled with sexual come-ons. As far as modern pop albums go, it was great -- overlooked in the States, but great. "Shady Love," Scissor Sisters' first single from their as-yet-untitled fourth album, is a romp in the right direction, sounding unlike anything in their catalogue so far (the closest is the biographical "Electrobix"), but continuing in the path of Night Work.
The verses have Jake Shears spitting rhymes like a dirty club-goer, sounding a bit like Prince's rap in "Gett Off" mixed with the electroclash of twin cuts from Night Work, "Skin Tight" and "Sex and Violence." No doubt you feel a bit dirty listening to the song. But isn't that the true mark of the Scissters' genius?
Shears also picks up singing duties along with the ever-wonderfully grimy Azealia Banks. It's a match made in 2012 pop heaven. Oddly, Banks doesn't even get a credit for her vocal. Instead, the track is by the Scissor Sisters versus Krystal Pepsy. Krystal Pepsy is none other than Shears himself -- or at least the name of his DJ side project (sometimes printed as "Crystal Pepsi"). Whether "Shady Love" is indicative of the rest of the new album or just their new friendship with Banks, we're not sure.
As if the kitschy hip-pop of Krystal Pepsy wasn't enough, the Scissor Sisters also threw in a crazy great music video to match. The video really speaks for itself, but we'll tell you this: It's not what you might expect.
Movers & Shakers: After seven weeks of waiting for "Sexy and I Know It" to take the summit of the Billboard Hot 100, LMFAO finally does it. To celebrate? Lots of wiggling. "We Found Love," by Rihanna and Calvin Harris, sits at number two. Katy Perry's "The One That Got Away" moves up two spots, to number three. It sucks that her highly publicized divorce from Russell Brand is actually helping sales. Lower on the chart, Adele appears twice, with "Set Fire to the Rain" at number seven and "Someone Like You" at number eight. Expect "Set Fire" to only continue climbing.
On to albums: Michael Buble's Christmas continues on top, while Adele's 21 sits at number two. Young Jeezy's new release, TM:103: Hustlerz Ambition, debuts at number three. Drake's Take Care moves up two, to number seven, and Rihanna's Talk That Talk re-enters the top ten after dropping five weeks ago like dead weight.
New Year, New Swift: Taylor Swift joins with The Civil Wars for a song for The Hunger Games soundtrack, called "Safe & Sound," a moody, alt-country cut with a few hooks thrown in for good measure. It's new territory for Swift, but it's a welcome change of pace. The jury's still out on whether her Fearless and Speak Now fans will think so.
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Rihanna Gives Herself a Hand: A lot of pop stars gifted their fans with special releases or freebies for the Christmas holiday. Lady Gaga leaked a Born This Way outtake, called "Stuck On F**king You." Justin Bieber tweeted an R&B track, "Happy New Year," featuring Jaden Smith. But it was Rihanna's gift that had a lot of fans scratching their heads. She released the video for her new single, "You Da One," just days before Christmas.
Watching "You Da One" is like watching A Clockwork Orange-inspired softcore porn. Unlike its predecessor, "We Found Love," which was just knocked from the number-one spot, the video for "You Da One" does not have a plot. It's just Rihanna in a blonde wig, Clockwork Orange eye makeup, with some cool graphics and sexy outfits. She also touches herself a lot -- about twenty times (we counted!) in three and a half minutes, which is almost too hot for YouTube.