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Scissor Sisters are no longer at cutting edge

Uh-oh! Jake Shears seems to be getting his excuses in early for Scissor Sisters' fourth studio album when he says, "we made it really fast. It was a collaborative effort. It style-hops all over the place unabashedly".

When Scissor Sisters arrived with their debut album and cute name they were welcomed as a breath of stale air. You know, that distinctive sweaty socks smell that cracked amyl poppers provide.

Appropriating Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb was the masterstroke that cemented their position as the hot new fun act of the post-rave generation. Their album became the biggest-selling album of 2004.

Today, Lady Gaga has demonstrated how to take club consciousness and edgy performance art to the stadium stage. Successfully navigating the conflicting demands of stardom, she's established herself as a pop icon.

Perhaps having too good a time hampered Scissor Sisters.

Calvin Harris supplies the standard production know-how and 120-beats-per-minute groove for the single Only The Horses which sounds like an average Calvin Harris release with guest vocals by Jake Shears.


For the brave souls who endure the listless electro plod of Irresistible (their Bee Gees homage) and Year of Living Dangerously ("still haven't found what's going to set me free...") -- craving a blast of the sassy Sisters of old -- it's only when they hit Let's Have A Kiki, which, word has it, celebrates female genitalia, that things begin to go w-h-o-o-s-h in a good way.

Shady Love is endearingly dumb and blithely un-selfconscious. Unlike the disco nights San Luis Obispo, which ranks as third-division Madonna. Self Control carries positive echoes of old skool, deep house and Darryl Pandy. With their Fraggle Rock movie soundtrack due, Scissor Sisters define the difficulties of remaining hip while striving for cross-over success.

At least they're still trying.