Scissor Sisters

Universal, 2006


REVIEW BY: Jeff Clutterbuck


As the year winds to a close, my thoughts turn to how the music scene turned out. Visions of another “Best Of” list enter into play, with some categories not getting filled until the last minute. Others, however, become readily apparent after a few listens with an album. And as much as it pains me to say this, Ta-Dah has already won as Most Disappointing Follow-Up of 2006.

Scissor Sisters was a truly great album, my second favorite of 2004. It brilliantly combined the best aspects of ‘70s pop and gave us something that was decidedly retro, but at the same time completely modern. There were high hopes on this end for their follow up record, Ta-Dah.

Now, it is not like the Sisters have abandoned their unique sound. In fact, it oozes out of every pore of this record, one is not going to confuse the listener with, say, Coldplay. Furthermore, Ta-Dah starts off very strong, with four of the first five songs standing up to anything on the debut. my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

If one couldn’t hear the Elton John influences on Scissor Sisters, look no further than this album. The first two tracks, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancing” and “She’s My Man,” steal liberally from the Rocket Man. Now with the former this comes as no shock because John co-wrote the song and plays keyboards. “I Don’t Feel Like…” has to be one of the most ironic songs of the year, with the narrator decrying how he doesn’t indeed feel like dancing, yet the music is completely the opposite, set to an insanely catchy beat. “She’s My Man,” on the other hand, is all Elton’s sound; it would have fit wonderfully on Goodbye Yellow Brick Road.

“I Can’t Decide” throws a little honky tonk into the mix, drawing a few similarities to Queen’s “Lazing On A Sunday Afternoon.” “Land Of A Thousand Words” plays as this sequel to the debut’s “Mary;” the plaintive beauty of the vocals can’t help but move you. The Sisters may get props for their upbeat material, but their ballads can be great as well.

It is after this point where things get a little spotty. “Intermission” features string arrangements from Van Dyke Parks and is another co-written song with Elton, but stumbles around trying to find a suitable hook. The glam rock inspired “Kiss You Off” is the best song on the album not written by Jake Shears, and manages to get a decent rock vibe going.

Stagnation. It is one of those words no band wants to hear. Unfortunately, it applies in this situation. Really, the songs just aren’t that good; they sound like the Scissor Sisters, they read like the Scissor Sisters, but that spark is missing. While calling it going through the motions might be too harsh, it reaches that point. “Ooh,” “Paul McCartney,” “The Other Side” and “Might Tell You Tonight” are just inferior versions of what came before them. The album does close strongly with “Everybody Wants The Same Thing,” an interesting mix of Warren Zevon and the Bee Gees.

I can recommend half of Ta-Dah easily; there are some great songs to be found. It is just that the proceedings get too repetitive and tired, which I desperately hope does not carry over to the third album.

Rating: B-

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2006 Jeff Clutterbuck and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Universal, and is used for informational purposes only.