It’s been well over a decade since Scissor Sisters rose to prominence as the perfect antidote to the type of dour faced guitar bands that were taking their music far too seriously at the time. While they enjoyed a string of sizeable hit singles, it was the group’s self titled debut album in particular that was a timely reminder that it’s all very well scowling into the camera and looking generally glum to appeal to scowling and glum teens, but sometimes you need to actually enjoy yourselves.
It was, and remains, just a little too easy to underestimate Scissor Sisters and see them as an irritating dance-pop phenomena whose band members are alarmingly frank about their lifestyles. The thing is Scissor Sisters have proper tunes and genuine talent. There can’t be that moody indie bands that wouldn’t give their strumming arms to write a tune as glorious as “Laura”. The glory of this debut album was that Scissor Sisters provided pop tunes to put a spring in your step and make you feel glad to be alive and they remain all the better for it. Of course there are moments of downbeat reflection dotted throughout their debut, but rather than them being weak points in the album, they are vital in dropping the pace just enough for the album not to be a totally exhausting listen and show the bands overall flexibility.
Another strength of this debut album is the fact that it’s not just the singles that stay with you after the album has finished, indeed “Return To Oz” is one of the best tunes on the album and is a great closer.
Of course whenever a band like Scissor Sisters achieve a certain level of success, there’s always certain groups of music fans howling for their blood. Some hated them simply because they are successful and they received a generous amount of radio play at the time and there are still those who want to see the band disemboweled just because they had the nerve to record a genuinely enjoyable cover of Pink Floyd’s eternally-miserable “Comfortably Numb”.
This album is still one for the masses to enjoy – the pop kids, the housewives, the electronica fans, the glam revivalists, the clubbers, even a hairy rock fan like me. It’s simply not worth hating it just because it’s not a group of worthy but dull individuals trying to convince you that they’re much cooler than they actually are, so lay aside your misplaced prejudice and dance with the rest of us.