Scissor Sisters — “Take Your Mama”

Released: 3.29.04

Peak: Did not chart

From the jump, the Brits loved these adorably homo-sexy art-poppers, who charted eleven consecutive U.K. singles, whatever such persistent success signifies on that inscrutably poptimist isle. Back home, though, the Scissor Sisters mostly attracted friskier indie kids; even in the age of iTunes, that meant passing as album artists, despite the fact that this band expresses itself best one single at a time. To date, nothing they’ve done tops their initial string of four (British) hits: the foot-stamp “This will be the last time/ I ever do your hair” of “Laura” may be their finest lyrical moment; for sheer audacity, nothing tops their imitation of the brothers Gibb reinterpreting “Comfortably Numb” as a club kid lament; and “Mary” is flat-out pretty.

But “Take Your Mama” is their giddiest romp, with Jake Shears and the boys ditching his Dixie chicken to get down with the honky cats in the backroom. Rather than coming out to mama after wedding plans got kerplooey, her “best son” drags the biddy out on the town to immerse her in his blast of a lifestyle. Accepting as a given the superiority of gay boys as party pals (“All the girls they seem to like you/ Cause you’re handsome/ Like to talk and a whole lot of fun”), “Take Your Mama” is also the closest that the Sisters come to declaring their big theme: middle-American mamas and big city queers get off on the same boisterous crap.

And so they do. Unfortunately ’70s Elton hasn’t been common ground for housewives or queens for some time, both of whom have moved on to drearier forms of schlock. Maybe the band realized this, since they’ve been content to simply bend straight-up disco on their two subsequent albums. Their latest (British) hit, “Fire With Fire,” is the sort of bland uptempo number Elton would still be writing if he hadn’t settled into a successful dotage hiring himself out as the a beard that homophobes sport to disprove their bigotry. Do we really all just have to get along?

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