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Pussycat Dolls - Doll Domination

The Pussycat Dolls, Doll Domination

Review by Jack Foley

IndieLondon Rating: 2 out of 5

THE PUSSYCAT Dolls claim to have really become “ferocious” with the new songs that comprise new album, Doll Domination. But despite some bright moments, the album treads pretty safe ground.

Things begin promisingly, with an air raid siren ushering in the lead single When I Grow Up, a pumped up, yet tongue in cheek look at celebrity-obsessed culture that feels very Timbaland orientated in production values.

But a quick look down the who’s who of producing partners (Sean Garrett, Timbaland, Missy Elliott and Cee-Lo) and the notable guest appearances (Missy Elliott, Snoop Dogg, R Kelly and New Kids On The Block) tell you more about what follows – namely, slickly manufactured pop-based R’n‘B numbers that are designed to appease the masses.

Snoop Dogg drops a trademark rap over the start of Bottle Pop, a distinctly throwaway single in waiting that does, at least, get the hips gyrating as only the former Burlesque performers know how. It’s a guilty pleasure… but nothing more – as is Watcha Think About That, they’re collaboration with Missy Elliott that immediately follows.

Ironically, the song works best when Missy Elliott drops in, but it’s a curiously flat offering in most other respects and it ushers in a kind of lull in the album’s energy.

The piano based I Hate This Part is a lacklustre mid-tempo ballad, , Takin’ Over The World isn’t really delivered with any conviction (contrary to what the lyrics suggest) and Out Of The Club is geared towards R Kelly’s smooth, but ultimately bland, style.

The next couple of tracks suffer from similarly underwhelming qualities but just when it seems that the Dolls have lost their ability to conjure a lively (let’s say ferocious) jam or two, Magic picks up the pace, and Halo drops some suitably invigorating beats over some strong electronic loops.

In Person is pure pop and an attempt to pander to Sugababes/Girls Aloud-style songwriting – but while the vocals are certainly sassy, it’s ultimately a failed attempt to expand their sound.

And so the album dips into another lull, when a few too many saccharine-heavy R’n‘B ballads take centre-stage. Rather than generating much emotion, they’re actually quite sappy and manipulative.

Fortunately, bonus tracks Lights, Camera, Action, featuring New Kids On The Block, and Perhaps, Perhaps, Perhaps elevate proceedings once more and ensure the album ends on a high. The latter, in particular, is a big show tune with Shirley Bassey-style qualities that is arguably the best track on the album. The fact that they saved it for last isn’t enough to save Doll Domination from mediocrity.

Download picks: Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps, Lights Camera Action, When I Grow Up, Halo, Bottle Pop

Track listing:

  1. When I Grow Up
  2. Bottle Pop
  3. Taking Over The World
  4. Whatcha Think About That? – The Pussycat Dolls, will.i.am
  5. I Hate This Part
  6. Out Of This Club
  7. I Think I’m In Love
  8. Happily Never After
  9. Magic
  10. Halo
  11. In Person
  12. Who’s Gonna Love You
  13. Hush Hush
  14. Love The Way You Love Me
  15. Whatchamacallit
  16. Baby Love – Nicole Scherzinger, will.i.am
  17. Lights, Camera, Action
  18. Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps