Some bands get it so right their first time out that you really really hope no one'll get ambitious too soon: start fiddling with the formula or trying to lyrically expand into a concept or otherwise screw with everything that made you like 'em in the first place.
The Scissor Sisters' first disc – a bracingly sleazy construction melding Studio 54 with the Honky Chateau – was one such release, and I'm happy to report that disc two, Ta-Dah!, is More of the Same. The instant you hear who else? guest musician Elton John poundin' the piano chords on album opener "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'" (an answer song to Leo Sayer embellished with Giorgio Moroder-esque swooshes – how seventies can ya get!) you know that Jake Shears and his Sisters ain't gonna steer you wrong.
They keep things moving with tromping ambiguous gender song, "She's My Man," then climb back up to the Honky Chateau via the lighter "I Can't Decide" (just hearing it got me visualizing a rickety "Legs" Larry Smith in tap shoes – one of the more memorable moments from Sir Elton's crocodile rockin' days). Occasionally – as with the first album, come to think of it – all this backward glancing grows a bit too familiar (e.g., horny discoid number "Lights"), but at their best, the Sisters' blend of snappy hooky dance-rock and world weary lyricism remains irresistible.
Personals favorites include: "Kiss You Off," which fakes the listener out with a faux ELO choral opener than moves into a gallumphing dress-down you can imagine Debbie Harry delivering; cheery boogie-woogie "Intermission," which undermines its nostalgic tone by telling us, "Tomorrow's not what it used to be/ We were born to die;" and closing number "Everybody Wants the Same Thing," which is, hopefully, the closest these city kids'll ever get to a Big Thematic Statement (viz. everybody wants ta be loved).
In short it's a great sophomore disc. Let's pray that Shears and the rest can keep from going the Captain Fantastic route for at least one more album .
P.S. Love the cover.