Jake Shears is the shining host (and seemingly sole survivor) of a T.G.I.F.-style house party in his latest album release, Last Man Dancing. This is the second solo release from the American singer-songwriter, who is best known as co-vocalist of the 2000s band Scissor Sisters. Since their hiatus in 2012, Jake has taken to a solo career beginning with his 2018 self-titled album Jake Shears, which showed off his flair for a dramatic blend of musical influences.
Jake has kept this signature in his genre-fusing new record. Composed of twelve tracks, Last Man Dancing is a two-part celebration that does not stop for anyone. Opening disco-pop anthem Too Much Music glides along funk-filled bass as Jake proclaims, “There can never be too much music for me.” In a flush of high backing vocals and zappy dance rhythms, listeners are encouraged to surrender to the music before entering second track Do The Television. It is another disco number led by a throbbing bass line to underpin an alluring lyrical flow evocative of Prince’s early work. Third track Voices is the first feature on the album, and it begins with enchantingly floaty vocals from Kylie Minogue while maintaining the flamboyant beats that define the first half of the record.
This jaunty sound simmers down with title track Last Man Dancing. Through an ABBA-inspired keyboard melody and a surprise saxophone piece, Jake’s feet do not fail him now. “I’m gonna be/The last man dancing/At the end of the night/Underneath the strobe light.” From this point, the album becomes a free-flowing house mix with features from Le Chev, Amber Martin, and Big Freedia. 8 Ball, Devil Came Down The Dance Floor, Mess of Me, Doses and Radio Eyes create a high-energy blend that does not lull. Final track Diamonds Don’t Burn mirrors the last song of the night. It does not adhere to the house groove, but instead incorporates recognisable acoustic elements and a singable chorus to bring the album to a lighter close.
While Last Man Dancing pulls from familiar influences, Jake finds a way to make it his own event with something for everyone. The record emulates the experience of a night out. Beginning with palatable dance ballads before progressing into a darker electronic sound, a dull moment is never met as Jake appears committed to keep his audience moving from start to finish.