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Camp Merchants Get Serious for a Moment

The Scissor Sisters' members may plunder '70s music, but they're not just winking.
The Scissor Sisters' members may plunder '70s music, but they're not just winking.

Over the course of only two albums, The Scissor Sisters' members have established themselves as prime camp merchants, plundering the '70s with such glee that they may actually cause the decade to come back in style through sheer force of will. Even so, "Everybody Wants the Same Thing" is one of the first Scissor Sisters songs to avoid sounding like pastiche.

Still, the song draws from the past: a little "Gimme Shelter" here, a little "You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling" there, a drop of "We're an American Band" for structure. But they're moving targets that won't be pinned down for long, leaving the song to generate its own momentum entirely from within.

With this newfound seriousness of musical purpose — not to mention a musical palette that ranges beyond the 1974-79 outputs of both Elton John and Giorgio Moroder — it would have been easy for singer Jake Shears to impart a message of cynicism. But when faced with a universal human truth to deliver, he chooses one of love. He's not the first to say what he has to say, and he won't be the last, but the band finally grants him the gravity to say it without winking.

Listen to yesterday's 'Song of the Day.'

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Marc Hirsh lives in the Boston area, where he indulges in the magic trinity of improv comedy, competitive adult four square and music journalism. He has won trophies for one of these, but refuses to say which.