Scissor Sisters Ta-Dah!

[Polydor; 2006]

Styles: pop rock, pop dance, pop
Others: B-52s, Felix da Housecat, Fischerspooner

This may be the first time that I've ever let the previous TMT review of a group affect my review. Re-reading comments on the eponymous debut of Scissor Sisters a couple years back frustrated me upon finishing my first draft of this review of their sophomore effort, Ta-Dah. What I wanted to say was that as electric and exciting as the Sisters were in their first foray into the pop scene, the second album just couldn't live up to it (which it doesn't quite). However, it has its own merits. It tries to take on a slightly more old-timey tone with tracks like "Intermission" and "I Can't Decide," but really still has some bad-ass sassiness, exemplified most vividly on "Kiss You Off" and "Ooh." But then I read the droopy review of the first album and just had to respond.

Alright, so what if Scissor Sisters aren't challenging the conventions of pop music? How much does any band really do that? Whether its mental masturbation via lyrics or via incorporation of noisier elements into the music, these are all tricks that get reproduced again and again, and hardly anyone can really claim to be breaking new ground in the "indie" scene nowadays. Music genres are built and 'destroyed' and reimagined everyday in self-feeding cycle, and to expect surprise through radical subversion is to be going to pop music for all the wrong reasons. How about being surprised by nice melodic composition, assertive production techniques, and an unabashed desire to have some fun?

So, maybe Scissor Sisters aren't for every TMT reviewer (or reader), but for me, they're a great outlet for pent up energy. Sometimes, I just need something incredibly tuneful and vibrant to pick me up, or at least carry me along, and this stuff is capable of just that. We need more music like this in the world. To deprive Scissor Sisters of any impact beyond this is a bit short-sighted anyhow. They are about pushing gender boundaries, taking your mama out dancing with you, and not being afraid to express yourself as you'd like, even in our currently conservative climate. While Ta-Dah isn't quite worthy of the 4-rating that I would have given their introductory manifesto, it's great and will please their fans. Bee Gees revivals should happen more often anyhow.*

1. I Don't Feel Like Dancin'
2. She's My Man
3. I Can't Decide
4. Lights
5. Land of a Thousand Words
6. Intermission
7. Kiss You Off
8. Ooh
9. Paul McCartney
10. The Other Side
11. Might Tell You Tonight
12. Everybody Wants the Same Thing

*This statement is not meant to imply that a group incorporating only elements of the celebrated disco-era Bee Gees would be successfully "reviving" the band. In fact, the Brothers Gibb were most protean in their talents, and anyone who bothers to look into it will discover the multitude of great pop songs in a variety of formats that they have written and produced for themselves and other artists (i.e., Barbra Streisand, Kenny Rogers, etc.). While I hope that one day Scissor Sisters may show this kind of range, no band can be expected to achieve such a feat over the course of only a few years and a couple albums.