Even with five members, the Pussycat Dolls apparently need a lot of help making records. The L.A. ladies' dance-pop-heavy second album boasts cameos from stars like Snoop Dogg and Missy Elliott, as well as beats and melodies by big-name producers and co-writers like Rodney Jerkins and Polow Da Don. Some guests were worth the money: R. Kelly mixes sweet and sassy on the catchy slow jam "Out of the Club," which sets a plush beat against a romantic chorus and a hook from Fergie's "Glamorous": "If you ain't got no money, take your broke ass home." And Timbaland offers the album's best beats, including a jazzy, mildly strange two-step on "In Person."
But too often, the Dolls offer nothing that gives their own group a definitive personality. Standard-issue diva lyrics – mostly about their excellent hairstyles and less-than-excellent exes — don't help. And tracks like "When I Grow Up" — a middle-of-the-road disco jaunt about wanting to be famous — sound like someone took several recent female-sung hits, added water and stirred into a fine, gray paste. With 15 cuts in all, the album sounds like the Dolls just threw everything they had against the charts to see if anything would stick.
(Posted: Oct 2, 2008)