Listening to his solo debut’s opening track – cunningly titled Introduction – it would be easy to assume that Jake Shears’ goal was to pursue the same instincts that led him to star in a Broadway production of Kinky Boots, or at least to give Rufus Wainwright a run for his money. But the Scissor Sisters frontman’s not that obvious and the piano-led Good Friends corrects such assumptions by pointing to Elton John. Furthermore, Shears has assembled an intriguing cast of musicians better known for work with acts like My Morning Jacket and Ray LaMontagne, whose producer, Kevin Ratterman, encouraged them to record live. This decision pays off especially well on the boogie-woogie flavours of Big Bushy Mustache.

There are also boisterous nods to the Bee Gees, while the sashaying Creep City leans on their disco period – mixed, in its rococo instrumental break, with hints of Lou Reed’s Transformer. Elsewhere, Shears is more indebted to the Gibb Brothers’ early years, as the heartfelt Everything I’ll Ever Need illustrates. Sad Song Backwards, additionally, flaunts an engrossing Southern excess, S.O.B. boasts a brassy bravado, while The Bruiser exercises welcome restraint, despite lifting the beat from Iggy Pop’s Nightclubbing.

Review: Jake Shears - Jake Shears

Written by Wyndham Wallace. Released on Freida Jean Records.

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