May 29th, 2012 7:31am
Half Past Quarter To Three
Jake Shears has spent the past decade tweaking the familiar sentiment and sound of classic pop to reflect the specific dynamics, quirks, kinks, and rites of passage of queer culture. He focuses on the issue of fidelity in this set, with several songs tackling the emotional complications of what Dan Savage calls a “monogamish” relationship. “Baby Come Home” nails this right off the bat, as Shears sings from the perspective of a man who is just fine with his partner getting action all night long, but is anxious to get him back in his arms. The music is bright and perky, letting on both a happy acceptance of his partner’s freedom as well as the impatience of his desire. It’s the most inspired cut on the record, and also the one that feels the most familiar. This is exactly the sort of song that comes most naturally to Shears and Babydaddy, and its presence among stodgy, over-written mid-tempo cuts and awkward stabs at hip-hop like the Azealia Banks collab “Shady Love” hangs a lantern on the notion that maybe this time around the band spent too much of its time overthinking the material and denying its best instincts.
(Excerpt from my review of Magic Hour for Pitchfork. It’s a bit of tough love, but I adore this song.)
Buy it from Amazon.