Scissor Sisters – Scissor Sisters – 2004
First listen?: No
The first album that I was a big fan of before this list, the massive success of the Scissor Sisters back in 2004 continues to surprise me. For 2 years the biggest act in the UK was this ragtag band of pure camp, 70s throwback and most surprisingly, super gay performers. It’s no surprise that 13 year old Sam back in 2004 wasn’t exactly a stranger to a bit of camp music. Steps had called it quits a few years earlier, but my music taste had hardly moved on from that by the time Scissor Sisters came along. These were openly gay (and straight), self proclaimed ‘queers’ that were played on primetime radio and music channels and were never shy of their ‘gayness’. Given that I was only just a teenager at the time, Scissor Sisters were the first of their kind for me. I can’t remember a point before then that I was exposed to gay culture, I wasn’t old enough to have watched, or even wanted to watch anything on TV, nothing that was as mainstream as this album either. All 4 members of my immediate family would listen to this album at the time of release, the UK fully embraced these outsiders from America as their own. The album itself holds up incredibly well, from start to end packed with hooks, funk and no filler at all. The album introduced Jake Shears as one of the best front men of the decade both on stage and vocally. From the falsetto of Comfortably Numb to the honest emotion of Mary he nails it on every song. Every song sounds organic and effortless, it’s a debut album from seasoned professionals. The standouts are many, from the audacity of songs like Tits On The Radio and Filthy/Gorgeous, to the seamless blend of prog rock ballads like Mary and Return To Oz. For me though Laura will always be the best song from the group and the best track on the album. It’s a genius slice of pop music and opens Scissor Sisters as it means to go on, full of confidence, full of camp and catchy as hell. I’d genuinely forgotten just how good this album is, an essential moment in pop music from the last decade and a time when all of the UK was just a little bit more gay, and a hell of a lot of fun for it.
Will I listen again?: Yes! The album went straight back onto my iPod after re-listening, along with the rest of Scissor Sisters’ excellent back catalogue.
Best Track: Laura