The Scissor Sisters keep the party going on their sophomore album, Ta-Dah, a synthesis of three decades worth of Pop that alternately references early Prince, Elton John, the Bee Gees and even such Rock/Funk hybrids as the Rolling Stones' "Miss You." Features the first single "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'," appropriately co-written with Elton John, the funky "Ooh" (think "Controversy-"era Prince), the single-in-waiting "Everybody Wants the Same Thing," Ana Matronic's confidently sung "Kiss You Off" and the unabashedly retro "Paul McCartney." Elsewhere, the band perfects the ballad style previously heard on tracks like "Mary" and "Return to Oz" with "Land of a Thousand Words" and less in-your-face "The Other Side," which finds frontman Jake Shears eschewing his usual falsetto for a more soothing vocal delivery. "I Can't Decide" is jaunty and almost honky tonk-ish, while "Intermission" turns back the clock with a jokey spin on old-time Vaudeville.
Since not liking the Scissor Sisters is tantamount to not liking fun, let's just assume that everyone already adores this band and go on from there, OK? The Sisters' hotly anticipated second full-length feel like a streamlined continuation of their debut. It's hard to imagine no one had ever called an album Ta Dah!
before, but then these sexy troubadours have no trouble subtly reworking the past to make it almost-new and always joyous. They may have emerged in a brief window when campy pastiche rock seemed like the next big thing, but just as their friends Fischerspooner did with the electroclash "movement," the Scissor Sister possess an elevated enough sense of fun, popcraft, and good enough connections to carry them for years. Hell, the first track on this album, the wonderful confection "Don't Feel Like Dancin," was co-written with Sir Elton John, and it sounds like Abba, Fleetwood Mac and Xanadu
all at once. Other tunes might have you thinking of Bowie or the Bee Gees or Prince or Pink Floyd or even the Carpenters, but only as cagily reimagined in a glittery, wonderful, post-Hedwig/ Velvet Goldmine
world. --Mike McGonigal