I think this new second album is really worth the wait. It refines the quality of the Sisters' killer debut recording, and adds more music hall to their repertoire, making "Ta-Dah!!" (love that title, makes me laugh) a different listning experience. It's still a helluva lot of fun, but there is more melancholy here, and darker elements, which shows the fab five-some are not content to merely repeat themselves. Sure, there are familiar sounds all around here, but they are more streamlined. The band exudes musical growth here and many of the songs are growers; many of them don't reward you until the second or third listen. I think this is good, as if songs like these reveal their secrets right away, they will be rendered disposable. Here, these songs are richly LAYERED, with many complexities, both musically (writing and arrangements) and lyrically. Plus, it sounds very fresh, and will be an enticing record in 10 years. I love these kinds of records; they are delightful.
Now, the songs, I have no problem with the sequencing. At first, it seemed a similar order as the debut, with more ballads at the front and disco rock in the second half, but it's not that simple. I think you have to live with the record for a while before you can make any judgements. The first single, "I Don't Feel Like Dancing" is a fun oxymoron of a song, and it resembles Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing" but not as disposable, mixed with an upbeat 70s Elton tune & a slight Bo Diddley beat. It's a good choice of first single and starts "Ta-Dah!!" off with a bang. All the songs are cool here, and an early fave is the delightful Ana Matronic-led disco rock romp "Kiss You Off", with a slam bang of a chorus. And I love how the album ends with the uplifting, gospelish rocker "Everybody Wants The Same Thing", leaves you feeling fuzzy.
Now, the packaging on this limited edition, talk about a deal, wow!!! This thing is an import pressing but priced enticingly cheap for Americans, like $11.99 here AND Best Buy!!! Unlike that one person, I LOVE this packaging!!! Really creative, novel, swell and cool. And I had no problem opening it up. What you do is you do NOT open the left side at all. You pull out the right side with your right hand while gripping the top and bottom with your left, and, the way it's designed, both sides open at once, like the elevator doors it's designed to be. Very simple really, but very VERY cool!!! Whoever designed this thing should get an early Grammy for best packaging, I'm serious!! Anyhoo, the sides open, with the flaps open and the discs are inside, "Ta-dah" on the left side and the bonus disc on the right side. The slick surface of the cardboard ensures that the discs will not get scratched up inside this package, unlike similarly packaged, booklike editions where the discs are directly on top of paper surfaces, if you know what I mean.
The 6 songs on the bonus disc (5 songs really and 1 cool remix of IDFLD) are more experimental. They are (I imagine) from the same "Ta-Dah" sessions, but didn't fit the flow of the album proper but are good enough not to leave on the cutting room floor. I haven't absorbed it all, but definitely, the best song here is, I agree, the funny "Making Ladies". There is also a free Best-Buy 3-track EP in BB stores, with 2 further remixes of IDFLD and another album outtake called "Ambition" which is swell, like a Steely Dan-ish jazz rock song with a satisfying & complex melody and arrangement. It's weird how the 12-track album, "Ambition", and the 5 bonus songs (no remixes) could have all fit together as a single 18-track 78-minute CD, but they broke it up into digestible pieces. I guess people complain about albums being too long and stuff, and here, they could have a point. "Ta-Dah" is a swell 47 minute and change ALBUM with a nice flow. Jake is in fine voice here, both in fine falsetto (the type of falsetto Daniel Powter TRIES to do on his album but comes up short) and velvety croon. The writing here, by Jake and Scott, is creative and melodic and fun, the arrangements top notch, the whole kitten kaboodle. Even the Judy Garland dialogue sample fits (on "The Other Side").
A fine fine job by all...an easy contender for album of the year.