I remember when I went to my first wedding (It was my Aunt’s wedding) and I remember being served this cake/flan/bake-good for dessert and it was this massive fruit cake covered in icing, all for myself.
Now, that’s nothing out of the ordinary, but as I was ten years old, you’d think I relish the opportunity to cram down as much sugar as possible, but I just sat there gawping and how ridiculously pompous this cake looked. Staring back at my vacant expression was a 6″ wide fruit cake, decorated with lashings of yellow icing sugar, plaited (yes, PLAITED) icing strips circling it’s circumference, with vivid pink ribbons encircling the whole visual catastrophe. It looked like ther must’ve been a 3:1 ratio of icing to actual cake. And on top of that, the waiter came round and smothered the cake in what I was told was called raspberry coulis. And everyone got one of these cakes: it was just too much.
If you can imagine Mrs. Quickly (that funny-looking one out of Nanny McPhee), and put that person into cake form, I was sat in front of that. Which is not entirely desirable it is fair to say.
I’m not here to complain about my life past experiences or tell you how not to decorate a cake though, so put away that spoon and mixing bowl right now. It’s just that sometimes, you need to keep things simple. Why waste time slaving over a cake’s icing decoration when really, it’s the same thing underneath as something you could buy at M&S? – a horribly dry, fruit brack of some kind with raisins and cherries added in an attempt to sweeten it. Give me a Victoria Sponge any day over tarty cakes like that.
It’s much the same story with music: you can often over-think things or try too hard to get that single, that you end up with something like Alesha’s ‘Drummer Boy’, not bad at all, but a lot of people really don’t see the point in all the commotion going on with those drums and it’s often a case of “too many cooks spoil the broth”. But if you under-think, you could end up with something a little less than appealing, like a half-cooked omelette… or Scouting For Girls’ ‘Famous’.
So the Scissor Sisters have taken this onboard, and have enlisted Stuart Price to produce their second release from their third album ‘Night Work’, which hit #2 in June. It’s paid off, as ‘Any Which Way’ is a perfect example of something that would fit snuggly into the description of “simple but effective”.
The effectiveness in question is actually Jake shrieking, Bee-Gees-style, about how he wants you to take him “any which way you can”, so whilst to some it may be offensive song about sex, this is the Scissor Sisters, and have you seen that album cover? I was one to confess myself a little disappointed at ‘Fire With Fire’ (despite how good it was) because it was frightfully ‘sensible’ for a Scissor Sisters single, let alone a comeback single.
‘Any Which Way’ sees the Jake and the crew back at their sexually-charged best; and the song only consists of a two-note bassline, rubbery bass synth, and syncopated piano chords, plus Jake’s falsetto dancing like a child on a sugar rush over the production. It’s very simple, an’ it needs no icing sugar to tart things up, Ana’s hair does that wonderfully.
Flamethrowers, megaphones, a Sushi gun, rubber animal face masks, a Samurai sword, plus Jake Shears looking FIERCE are amongst all the completely random treats for the eye-balls you can expect to see in this video. Once again, simple but extremely effective. Right down to Ana’s spoken interlude, it oozes sexual emphasis, and for some reason it still manages to be classier than anything Tinie Tempah, Usher or Flo Rida will ever put out.
So, in terms of cake, this song has done away with all the flamboyant colourings, icing shapes, and cherries. Oh believe me, just look back at the Scissor Sisters’ discography and you can see they’re more than capable of making a torte or a gateau, but at times, a strawberry sponge does the job even better, especially when some cakes are so ridiculous it’s harder to say their names than actually cook them.
Rating: 4.5 STARS
Download: September 20, 2010
Featured Album: ‘Night Work’