A lot of writers open up reviews with the phrase “The much anticipated album by…”, referring to albums which may or may not be well anticipated, but in the case of the Scissor Sisters this prologue is accurate. Their 2004 self-titled album was a success by all standards, reaching over 3 million copies sold worldwide. For two years they kept music fans wondering if the dynamic quintet still had some magic left in their compositions. Their second release Ta-Dah dispels the gossip and puts their best songs up front before mellowing out. Where The Killers, who made their debut in the same year as this retro-glam outfit, were unable to recapture the enthusiasm from Hot Fuss on their follow up Sam`s Town, the Scissor Sisters second installment kept their signature mirror ball dance beats imbued in chic-pop cabaret with a refreshed sense of fun.
Written, performed and produced by the Scissor Sisters, Ta-Dah is stylistically savvy, musically glitzy and loaded with pop thrills, opening with the flamboyant glam-pop tune “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” garbed in Bee Gees style falsettos and synth sparklers. Band members Jake Shears (lead vocals), Ana Matronic (harmony vocals), Babydaddy (bass, guitar, banjo, keyboards), Del Marquis (guitars), and Paddy Brown (drums), put more theatrics in their glam-pop braziers this time around. The jazz-hop beats on “She’s My Man” are diced up with flashing horn sequins. The song is a tribute to a New Orleans folk legend Annie Christmas. She was a riverboat pirate, a thief, and a killer who passed herself off as a man. “The song,” Jake tells, “is from the point of view of someone who is in love with her.”
The track “I Can’t Decide” has a showtune vibe along cabaret-jazz themes and ragtime vocal valances like Dr. John. The melody is upbeat and sassy with easy to clutch turns displaying the Scissor Sisters’ prolific theatrical side. “Land Of A Thousand Words” was born from the band’s obsession with John Barry’s James Bond theme as the opening orchestral session has reflections of Carly Simon’s “Nobody Does It Better” from The Spy Who Loved Me. The selection “Intermission” keeps in line with showtune themes along piano and violin aerials with bows to Broadway’s Chicago. “Kiss You Off” is a lofty electronica/guitar rock suite carting a Goldfrapp-carrier and featuring Matronic on lead vocals. She says about the number, “It’s not a love song, it’s a falling out of love song. It’s about knowing you are better than how you’re being treated in a relationship.” On the other hand, “Ooh” is a straightforward glam-pop tune with disco trills reminiscent of early Prince.
The funk-spins on “Paul McCartney” is the last bastion of upbeat movements before the album mellows out. Written by Jake Shears and Carlos Alomar, former guitarist for David Bowie and Duran Duran, the song is the result of a dream that Shears had of Macca. The proceeding track “The Other Side” takes on a Spandau Ballet romantic sphere and the final number “Everybody Wants The Same Thing” closes out the album with chic-pop roundups. Of titular term Ta-Dah, Shears says, “There’s a magic behind that word, illusion behind that word. You think of performance, showmanship, but Ta-Dah is also about expectations. Ta-Dah. This is what we’ve done. This is what it is.” Whether the Scissor Sisters’ newest endeavor receives a standing ovation and encore is yet to be seen, but their glamorous style refreshes pop music with its flair and panache.
El Presidente – El Presidente
Dr. John – Mercenary
Goldfrapp – Supernature