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  1. #26
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    hi hats

    thanks for exposing another anonymous drummer- Jacob Schlichter. Mary Lou Lord's cover of Sugar Sugar sound so much better than the 1969 #1 hit because of Mary Lou's nuanced then soulful phrasing and the tight rhythm section especially the hihats.

  2. #27
    PPG
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    Anyone here checked out The Scissor Sisters? No, they're not power pop at all, they combine mid-70's era Elton John song-writing inlluences, Bowie, and a big tip of the hat to the disco era (a Bee Gees' send-up of Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb", although not one of my favorites on the disc, they definitely have a sense of humor). Listen to "Take Your Mama" (the single), but it's a really surprisingly good debut that entertains and stands out from the crowd. Here's a review:

    Scissor Sisters
    Scissor Sisters
    [Polydor; 2004]

    There's something about the kitchen-sink approach to music that makes me suspicious. Excessive genre-hopping or wearing stylistic flexibility as a badge is often considered honorable or even proof of an artist's restless, boundless talent. Yet when this approach is put under a microscope, the choice to aim for a variety of different sounds often seems like a mask for artists unable to do any one thing particularly well.

    A lot of the initial praise garnered by Scissor Sisters stemmed from their oscillation between what many consider to be disparate styles: To be reductive, those are rollicking early 70s Elton John-esque pop songs and buoyant disco. However, on their self-titled debut, Scissor Sisters not only do quite a few genres justice-- not least of which is witty, irreverent pop songs-- but both their idiosyncratic approach to music and their sensibilities seem to have common roots in glam-era rock or Philly soul.

    On the face of it, that's an odd blend. Unless you're Ryan Adams, Homer Simpson, or those bearded fellows in Kings of Leon, you aren't likely of the mindset that rock achieved perfection in 1974. But the Sisters embrace the playfulness and panache of that era's artists-- from Sparks and Elton, to 10cc and Mott the Hoople, to The Spinners and, um, Pink Floyd-- and come out smelling like roses. Here, the Sisters skip smartly through glam's linear history, and stray far enough from the beaten path to discover a sound of their own, all while resisting the sacrifice of context for pantomime.

    With one part arched eyebrows and droll wit, and one part melancholia and sharp social observation, the Sisters' debut is bursting with golden moments. To the disappointment of some, large portions of the Scissor Sisters' highly circulated and heavily dancefloor-leaning demo has been either re-recorded or exorcised from the final cut, but the retail version outstrips the demo by a mile. "Doctor (I'm Only Seeing Dark)", "Backwoods", and "Bicycling with the Devil" in particular are missed, but with their inclusion, the finished product would likely have been a far more schizophrenic affair.

    Instead, the Sisters' debut hangs together well, despite sounding at times more like a career-spanning singles compilation than a cohesive work. (Although, in this MP3 era, where's the harm in that?) Debut single "Laura", with its overflow of rollicking piano and wah-wah guitar, is the hyper-jovial opener. Break-up song "Better Luck" and the falsetto-drenched disco cover of "Comfortably Numb" (what might have been had Pink Floyd followed their classic rock contemporaries into late 70s disco tourism) are the dancing-with-tears-in-your-eyes tracks. "Tits on the Radio" is New York's best protest dance song since !!!, and "Lovers in the Backseat" is a gold lam-draped take on voyeurism. "Mary" and "It Can't Come Quickly Enough", meanwhile, are the 4 a.m. ballads, contenders for the night's penultimate spin before "Last Dance" soundtracks the queue at the coat check.

    Best of all are "Take Your Mama" and "Return to Oz". The former is a clever Primal Scream-meets-"Freedom '90" suggestion to come out to your mother during a night on the town. The latter is a weary, hungover ballad lamenting the influence of crystal meth on the gay nightclub scene ("What once was Emerald City's/ Now a crystal town"). In combination, those two tracks delightfully reveal that under Scissor Sisters' sheen of fabulousness and irresistible hooks beats a heart that breaks as easily as it bursts, and that's a sort of versatility that can't be easily concocted.

    -Scott Plagenhoef, March 11th, 2004
    Last edited by PPG; 12-21-2004 at 09:08 AM.

  3. #28
    very clever with maracas Davey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PPG
    Anyone here checked out The Scissor Sisters?
    Not really, but I must admit that the first time I saw them I thought they were another one of those 70s novelty bands like the Darkness with the standard 15-minute lifespan. But by the end of the song I didn't think that anymore. I've seen them a couple times since on tv but it's just not a sound I'm really into right now, and maybe a little bit of a guilty pleasure if I was, but nothing to snicker at. Guess the British press has been fawning all over them. But then again, British reviewers seem to have the attention span of a 10 year old with ADD. The album does seem to be high on all the year-end lists, especially the more mainstream ones. The indie hipster media doesn't even seem to be immune so you must be on the right track, PPG. Of course as usual, I'm pretty much out of touch. One of my favorite albums this year was just soundly dissed in the latest Uncut, but what else is new. I wear it as my badge of honor

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