Scissor Sisters

The members of New York-based band Scissor Sisters admit they were feeling the pressures of a "sophomore slump" when they headed into the studio to begin recording Ta-Dah, the follow-up to the Sisters' critically acclaimed 2004 self-titled album. One of the things that made that first record so outstanding was the sheer amount of musical diversity, from the mutated disco of "Tits on the Radio" to the club cut "Filthy/Gorgeous" to the funky, rockin' "Music Is the Victim." Those songs were fun, even if (or maybe because) the band was dipping its hands into a multitude of music genres. So what the hell happened on this homogenous follow-up? "The first album was such an eclectic mix, we could have gone anywhere," said vocalist Ana Matronic. "There were so many options — and sometimes you can have too many."

Too bad it seems they only went with one. Ta-Dah overflows with nothing but pop and dance ditties. It's the record the Bee Gees might've made if they'd had Elton John cohort Bernie Taupin in the studio with them and Beatles producer George Martin behind the boards, cursed with the bad judgment of today's tastemakers. Take a close listen to "She's My Man" — one of the few songs on the album to feature guitar riffs — and you'll hear a rhythm ripped straight out of Sir Elton's "I'm Still Standing," along with lead singer Jake Shears' already Elton-esque vocals. The album's lead-off track and first single, "I Don't Feel Like Dancin'," is the first Gibb-brothers-flashback track on the album to feature falsetto singing, a trend that unfortunately continues on songs like "Lights" and "Ooh." Piano-based songs like "I Can't Decide" and "Interlude" possess all the pomp of rock 'n' ragtime piano jaunts like the Beatles' "Martha My Dear," but lack the punch of the Sisters' older piano-driven songs like "Better Luck Next Time."

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