Album Review: Scissor Sisters – “Ta-Dah”

Scissor Sisters released the Ta-Dah album on September 15, 2006.  My first exposure to this album came through hearing the lead-off single, “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’.”  When I got to hear the whole album, I was impressed by the breadth of sounds I heard on it.

Ta-Dah opens with “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’,” which is a fun, upbeat number to open the album.  It turns out the song was co-written by Elton John, and that Elton plays the piano on it.  “I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’” also ended up being used in the opening scene of the ABC drama series, Private Practice.  The next song on the album is “She’s My Man,” which was released as the third single off of Ta-Dah.  It’s the longest song on the album, but it’s very catchy.  Musically, the song has a similar rhythm structure to Elton John’s “I’m Still Standing”; however, the rhythm structure in “She’s My Man” is slower and has a lower pitch.

“I Can’t Decide” is the next song on the album.  It’s an upbeat song, but it’s not a dance number.  You can definitely hear an Elton John influence on this song, even though he wasn’t involved in it in any way, shape, or form.  In the UK, this song charted at number 64 on downloads alone after being used in the Doctor Who episode, “Last of the Timelords.”  This is followed by “Lights,” which is a mid-tempo number.  Musically, I can hear a 1970s influence on this song; it’s kind of a cross between disco and the R&B sound of that decade.

Next on Ta-Dah is the song, “Land of a Thousand Words.”  It was released as the second single from the album, and it’s a slow ballad.  In fact, it’s only one of two slow songs to appear on this album.  On this song, I can hear an Elton John influence; this is primarily due to the piano part being kind of reminiscent to “Tiny Dancer.”  This is followed by “Intermission,” a song co-written by Elton John; Elton also makes an appearance on the piano.  Musically, instead of sounding like an Elton John song, “Intermission” really reminds me of The Beatles.  “Intermission” is also the shortest song on Ta-Dah.

“Kiss You Off” was released as the fourth single from the album, and is the only song to feature Ana Matronic on lead vocals.  Musically, the song draws from the new wave scene of the early 1980s.  Personally, I can hear a strong Blondie influence on this track.  “Ooh” is definitely one of the most electronic-leaning songs on the album.  When I heard it, I thought it sounded like something Daft Punk would have recorded for their Discovery album.  I can definitely hear a disco influence on this song.  “Ooh” ended up being used in the background of the Ugly Betty episode, “I’m Coming Out.”

The next song on Ta-Dah is “Paul McCartney,” and it’s a very upbeat and danceable song.  It’s a good song, but I’m not entirely sure how the title fits with it; the song does not sound like anything The Beatles or Paul McCartney would have recorded, and I don’t blatantly see anything in the lyrics to tie the song in with him.  This is followed by “The Other Side,” which is the other slow song on the album.  It’s a song about death, and is definitely the most thematically depressing songs on Ta-Dah.

“Might Tell You Tonight” is another song to prominently feature a piano.  At some points in this song, it sounds like the vocalist is trying to emulate Elton John’s vocal style.  The final song on Ta-Dah is “Everybody Wants the Same Thing.”  It’s a mid-tempo song, and it was first performed at Live 8 in July 2005 and at the EXIT Festival in 2006 before it appeared on Ta-Dah.

Even though Ta-Dah combines several different musical influences, the songs are produced and arranged in such a way that combining all of these elements on one album works, and the album has a very strong flow as a whole.  Personally, I think Ta-Dah can be appreciated by both pop music and electronic listeners.

I wrote this review after listening to a copy of Ta-Dah that my husband and I purchased.

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