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Jake Shears - Jake Shears (Album Review)

Thursday, 16 August 2018 Written by Jacob Brookman

Photo: Greg Gorman

Jake Shears’ debut solo record is a sprawling smorgasbord of musical flavours that should remind listeners of his band-leading and songwriting expertise. It’s an album bristling with confidence and brio that develops on his work with Scissor Sisters while isolating and identifying Shears’ own distinctive voice.

The camp machismo that has characterised his stage persona is superbly deployed, particularly on disco flavoured cuts such as S.O.B. This track is a sassy toe tapper with big horn riffs, powerful layered vocals and gloriously direct lyrics: “I’ve got sex on on the brain / S.O.B / Ain’t nobody gonna marry me!”

It’s fun, crude and - at the risk of sounding reductive - could form the soundtrack of any Pride after-party. That said, the record is not one-note.

One of the most impressive elements is the combination of different tonalities and musical genres deployed - something that has made Scissor Sisters’ catalogue a more difficult sell in their home territory of the US.

Shears is equally at home working with rich string arrangements (Good Friends), clav funk (Clothes Off) and country-rock (Sad Song Backwards), and while the unifying lyrical theme is often sex, the lyrics are written to entertain as much as provoke.

True liftoff is attained on Everything I’ll Ever Need, where sprawling sung phrases meld with languorous guitar backing and baroque refrains. It’s an incredibly rich song that recalls the occasionally bloated musicality of soft-rock dilettantes like Richard Harris and Harry Nilsson, but which manages to stay onside via its terse run-time of four minutes. Like the album as a whole, it reveals a prolifically creative showman channelling his work with great wisdom, discipline and - most of all - fun.

Jake Shears Upcoming Tour Dates are as follows:

Thu August 16 2018 - BRIGHTON Concorde 2
Sun August 19 2018 - SHEFFIELD Leadmill
Tue August 21 2018 - LIVERPOOL Arts Club
Wed August 22 2018 - GLASGOW Glasgow Garage

Click here to compare & buy Jake Shears Tickets at Stereoboard.com.

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