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Pussycat Dolls - Doll Domination

Pussycat Dolls

For a record made by a group of dancers-turned-singers, the first Pussycat Dolls album had a surprising number of workable singles on it. Now back to prove it wasn't a one-off, Doll Domination's cast list reads like a Who's Who of urban pop. Darkchild, Cee-Lo, Lady Gaga and Missy Elliott are just some of the impressive names that have worked on this album.

Surprisingly it's the midtempo songs that seem to stand out. Some dancefloor stompers shine - with Snoop Dogg popping up on the vocoder-heavy 'Bottle Pop' and New Kids On The Block going space-electro with the Dolls on 'Lights Camera Action' - but unsurprisingly, nothing can compete with Timbaland's trademark beats and he steals the show with the hypnotic, Middle Eastern vibes of 'Magic'.

Proving he can do ballads just as well, old Timba has also conjured up gorgeous second single 'I Hate This Part'. Bizarrely "inspired by Sting", according to lead singer Nicole Scherzinger, its melancholic piano is haunting.  Similarly 'Hush Hush', produced by label boss Ron Fair, is an epic ballad promoting the Dolls as strong women who "never asked for help" from their men.

Unnecessarily long, with 18 tracks on the album, there must be some duffers - and sure enough, a disappointing R Kelly duet on the dull 'Out Of This Club' duly ticks that box. Closing with a cover of 'Perhaps Perhaps Perhaps' as a nod to their cabaret past, Doll Domination is a surprising listen.

Who ever could have dreamed Pussycat Dolls would end up being queens of the ballads?

Talia Kraines

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