Released: June 2
On his second solo album and first in five years, Jake Shears brings the party with a non-stop run of disco and house-influenced dance smashes.
For two decades the US star has established himself as one of pop’s finest, penning hit records that have become 21st century classics, but on his previous LP he switched things up for a rock-influenced collection of introspective numbers.
However, that itch has been well and truly scratched and on ‘Last Man Dancing’ he’s back doing what he does best with the most realised album of his career to date.
‘Well we finally made it to the promised land’ he declares on opening song and lead single, Too Much Music – a strong indicator of the material across the album, which progresses like a night out from feelgood pop through to late night, heady club anthems.
Of the former, I Used To Be In Love is straightforward disco euphoria that positions Jake’s distinctive falsetto at the fore and Really Big Deal is an indulgent romp that sees him strut the floor and declare: ‘I don’t know ‘bout you but I’m a really big deal!’ Meanwhile, the title song has echoes of ABBA and a nostalgic seventies vibe that wouldn’t sound out of place on the Scissor Sisters’ early albums.
Marking a turning point with 8 Ball, the techno Mess of Me leads to an extended instrumental section, throughout which Jake is largely absent and lets the music do the talking.
Guest appearances add to the club feel of the set, with Kylie Minogue collaboration Voices a centrepoint on ‘Last Man Dancing’ and a welcome reunion for the pop icons, while Amber Martin’s powerhouse vocal on Devil Came Down The Dancefloor adds a new dimension to the record.
Closing with a spoken word outro that sees Iggy Pop sharing his musical wisdom, it’s a choice move that on one hand embodies everything Jake sets out to achieve this time around, while also (quite brilliantly) channelling the drunken philosophy one might encounter at the smoking area in the early hours after a few too many tequilas.
In Jake’s own words, ‘Last Man Dancing’ is “is my ultimate house party”. “We can be as loud and late as we want… and while not everyone might make it to the end, it’s the last ones dancing who are rewarded with the most magical moments of the evening.”
‘Last Man Dancing’ is out June 2 via Mute.