I have this vision of the new Scissor Sisters album blaring from the back of a float in a gay-pride parade. (Bear with me.) As it rolls along, people are bumping booties and throwing beads at spectators. A little mirror ball spins in the middle of it all. And if you were to suddenly dart out in front of the float, it would flatten you and keep moving, one thumping disco beat at a time.
Of course, you could say that about every Scissor Sisters album, but “Magic Hour,” their fourth release, is particularly devoted to the New York pop band’s nocturnal utopia. It’s a single-minded affair: Dance or die.
Even with such hitmaking producers as Calvin Harris and Diplo on board, “Magic Hour” is refreshingly out of step with current tastes in pop music. As Top 40 radio skews more toward DJs and dance rock, this album lives in its own synthetic world where Elton John and the late, great Donna Summer are still in fashion.
Only when Scissor Sisters make an obvious play for a mainstream hit – the stunningly bland “Only the Horses” — does the album feel like the work of an inferior band.
“Baby Come Home” is Scissor Sisters condensed into three joyous minutes, the natural follow-up to “Take Your Mama” and “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing.” “Keep Your Shoes On” cribs a melody from “212” by rising rapper Azealia Banks, who just happens to make a cameo on “Shady Love.” (Out Tuesday)
ESSENTIAL “Baby Come Home”
Scissor Sisters play the House of Blues on June 30.