Reimagining Pink Floyd through a kaleidoscopic mirror ball thrusted Jake Shears and the Scissor Sisters into the spotlight a couple years back and helped vault their eponymous debut into the boogying conscience of independent music. Through their infections club singles and absurdly humorous take on disco grooves, this seemingly outdated band of misfits took the music scene by storm. Perhaps disco wasn't truly dead after all. Maybe it was just sitting out the new-wave and grunge eras to catch its breath. Regardless of the reasoning, Scissor Sisters now want everyone to take notice with the release their sophomore glam party Ta-Dah.
With their new single (and first song on the album) coupling a guest piano lick and co-writing credit from none other than Sir Elton John, it's immediately evident that these guys are eager to hold their glitzy forefathers closer than ever before. "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" displays the near-flawless falsetto of Shears spinning a story of the typical white boy lament, his 'heart could take a chance/but [his] two feet can't find a way.' Coupled with the style of the song, the irony is delicious. It's a discotheque hit all around.
They don't fashion themselves as a parody band or a cover band, but there are elements of these genres throughout the album. Surprisingly, they are able to pull them off with refreshing eloquence and ingenuity. Witty songwriting continues to flow from every crevasse as the Elton/Beatles/Queen posturing continues in wonderous ways. "She's My Man" features an extreme(ly hilarious) dichotomy of sexual control ('She's my man and we've got all the balls we need') while undertones of Stephen King's Misery dot the rollicking piano/banjo number "I Can't Decide."
The quantity of catchy songs may not be equal to their debut, but they have effectively traded a bludgeoning kitsch quotient for more mature arrangements and a more cohesive whole. Recently announced as a second single, "Land of a Thousand Words" could easily supplant itself into any prom's last dance, regardless of the era in which it is imagined playing. Disco balls, strobe lights, glow sticks - any of these items could be spinning, swaying, and twirling while tired lovers and friends feel each other out, inadvertently forging memories that will at least last the weekend. "Take Your Mama Out" wouldn't have led anyone to believe that this band could ever be accepted at a wedding or any sort of serious event, but songs like "Thousand Words" and "Might Tell You Tonight" wouldn't be that out of place wedged in between "Wonderful Tonight" and "The Chicken Dance."
Even with the band's evolution, however, they still have a tendency to have some filler on their albums. "Kiss You Off" sounds like a demented song off the Miami Vice soundtrack and "Paul McCartney" nowhere near lives up to its namesake, sacrificing melodic humor for a bouncy, vapid, and ultimately forgettable 3 minute homage to party love. Furthermore, "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" and a couple other songs could have shaved some from their running time and the effect would still be as good. After all, brevity is the soul of tight disco boogie.
For a band that named themselves after a lesbian sexual position, Scissor Sisters are managing to rise above their quirks and craft some truly enjoyable and inventive songs. Even if some of these new experiments do not offer as much as they could, they are hitting the mark far more than they are missing it. Ta-Dah shows us a band hitting their stride, eyes toward the future without allowing their roots to let them stumble.
Release date: September 26, 2006
Rating: 8.0 / 10
On the web: http://www.scissorsisters.com
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