Scissor Sisters

Two years ago, the campy New York-based quintet Scissor Sisters took Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" to the dance floor, shoved the prog rock chestnut in a box, and sent it express bound for Bee Gees country. Though fans of the group lumped them into the electroclash scene, they wisely avoided becoming too associated with a movement based on cheap nostalgia and little discernible talent.

That's probably why there are ballads and straight-up piano rockers on the Scissor Sisters' self-titled debut, tunes that others might be too embarrassed to parade around the dance floor but make perfect sense in their disco ball-illuminated world. These mostly smart songs proudly wear influences, particularly the aforementioned Gibb brothers as well as Elton John and T. Rex, like a badge of honor. They also demonstrate a songwriting depth without relying too heavily on loop-based tracks. In fact "Filthy/Gorgeous" proves that Lil' Flip isn't the only one who can work wonders with a Pac-Man sample. Meanwhile "Return to Oz" closes the album out on a note of grand pomposity as if it were one of Dennis DeYoung's "Mr. Roboto" operas for Styx. Admittedly the album is so over-the-top that it's hard to believe the Scissor Sisters are serious, but once the too-sweet candy coating melts off there's still some substance left.

KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Tamara Palmer