Pegged by many as one-hit wonders when their cover of Pink Floyd's 'Comfortably Numb' first appeared, Scissor Sisters' debut album showed that behind the glam and gloss there was a band with the talent to rummage around in genres, try things on for size and come up with a succession of good songs.

The chances of 'Ta-Dah' not selling by the skip load were always smaller than a catwalk model's dinner, but it's the sound of a group putting themselves in the box labelled 'Party Band' when they have the capability to be much more.

Despite a bigger budget and some big names joining them (Elton John, Beach Boys arranger Van Dyke Parks, former David Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar), Jake Shears & Co end up playing it safe.

Here you get some decent but throwaway singles ('I Don't Feel Like Dancin', 'She's My Man'), camp descending into cringe ('I Can't Decide', 'Intermission'), average album tracks ('Lights', 'Ooh') and two songs which show what this album could've been.

The first of these is 'Kiss You Off', a high energy song where Ana Matronic takes lead vocals. No classic, but if you lowered the volume on the DVD of 'Saturday Night Fever' and had this track playing in the background it would more than hold its own. More importantly, it proves that Shears should've surrendered the mic more often.

The second track leaves everything else on 'Ta-Dah' trailing by some distance. Stuck at the end of the album, 'The Other Side' has an instantly memorable guitar hook, shows just how much real drama the band can summon up and would hold its own with anything from the 1980s - that's a compliment. It's these dark forays that Scissor Sisters should embark on more in the future because the glitter ball will only twirl for so long.

If there was one fan expecting 'Ta-Dah' to be the Scissor Sisters' version of 'Dark Side of the Moon' they've yet to be found, but this album is frustrating in its predictability and won't age as well as its predecessor. 'Ta-Dah' ends up being exactly what many intend to use it for: background music for their next soiree. And with very little to remember once the party's over.

Harry Guerin