As you've never heard them before
Sometimes, when I lie awake at night, wondering what it’s going to take to get Jessie J to close her legs, I wish I was a Scissor Sister. Yes, there was a moment there when they were over-exposed – right around the time Ma Levine started singing ‘Filthy/Gorgeous’ while doing the ironing – but hey, let’s not hold it against them. I mean, who can blame a bloody brilliant pop band for becoming bloody massive?
The tunes, natch, were as big and spangly as a glitter ball: the gayer-than-Elton swagger of ‘Take Your Mama’, ‘I Don’t Feel Like Dancin” with its hand-claps and disco zaps, their delirious dance remake of ‘Comfortably Numb’. But what made the Scissors special was their attitude. They were sassy as drag queens, inclusive as Born Again Christians, and they didn’t give two fruity hoots about looking cool. They were sort of subversive, too – how often is the most exciting pop act on the planet named after slang for a lesbian sexual position?
Which makes it even sweeter that their new single is the first pop stonker of the New Year. Whatever you were expecting from Scissor Sisters in 2012, this isn’t it. For a start, it’s got Jake Shears rapping his peachy little ass off about drink, drugs and “this bitch I met out in Boston”. Apparently “she gon’ vote for Obama and she likes to dance to Madonna.” Whoever she is, she sounds like our kinda gal.
Of course, there’s more to ‘Shady Love’ than Jake and his cod Latino flow. It’s produced by Alex ‘Boyz Noise’ Ridha and co-written with Azealia ‘Cool List’ Banks, who’s also kind enough to contribute vocals and crafty enough to nab a “vs.” credit under the guise of “Krystal Pepsy”. Maybe you had to be there? Anyway, thepoint is that ‘Shady Love’ pulls off a pretty nifty trick: it sounds like no other Scissor Sisters track, but still sounds unmistakably like Scissor Sisters. Respect.
It borrows from electro, house and disco, winking at both ABBA and Calvin Harris, and it’s got some Latin freestyle junk in its trunk. First you’ll think “WTF?!” Then you’ll think “Hmm…” And finally you’ll be too busy shaking your booty like Beyoncé at Glastonbury to think about goddamn anything. If not, you deserve to be locked in a padded cell and forced to listen to Little Mix’s ‘Cannonball’ for all of eternity.
Director: Alex Ridha
Record label: Polydor
Release date: 13 Feb, 2012