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Scissor Sisters | s/t (Polydor)
Just one look at the cover says it all - we're gonna have fun, with a capital F. Take the cover out of the jewel case and open up the insert. Surely that's Roxy Music, circa 1974, there? The hairstyles, the fashion, the extreme poses - this is real Bryan Ferry and Phil Manzanera country. But the music? Not Roxy at all. How do you describe Scissor Sisters in a sentence? How about: 'all the hype is correct.' Yes, everything you might have read about this quintet - Ana Matronic, Babydaddy, Jake Shears, Del Marquis and Paddy Boom - is true. They are true alchemists, distilling the best bits of your record collection into one disc. Standout track is a version of the Pink Floyd song Comfortably Numb, which begins like a cranked-up Waterloo Sunset and morphs into a disco-xtreme version of a Bee Gees song. What's amazing is that the song's new skin fits so perfectly. Scissor Sisters have so many reference points. Having just got over the manic coupling of Bee Gees and the Floyd, comes Mary, a song you would swear had been written by Elton John and Bernie Taupin for the 'Tumbleweed Connection' sessions.
There follows disco, butt-rumbling funk and neo-gay anthems. But this cut-and-paste approach to rock actually works. It's all so effortless and seamless - as if these five Americans had been honing their craft for years until their songs were so good, so perfect, they had to release them all at once. As someone said, Scissors Sisters is like a greatest hits album. Put it on during a party and I guarantee no-one will guess who it is. But they will think they know.