Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald


Dolls just don’t dominate

Universal Music Group has its collective head up its ass, so
much so that it has a better chance of seeing digestion at work than daylight.
Cruel as it may be, it’s the only way that a logical person can explain the
existence of the Pussycat Dolls, much less their new album Doll Domination.

The Dolls clearly went all out with this album, hiring A-list
producers like Ne-Yo and Timbaland, who  is becoming so in-your-face with his production that one has
to wonder why vocals are even added. That said, his presence may well be a
relief with respect to this disaster of an album if only as a distraction
mechanism from the Dolls. “Magic,” for example, has its beat so high in the mix
that the Dolls have to struggle to actually be heard. Way to take one for the
team, Timbo. For a guy who’s been unknowingly descending deeper and deeper into
self-parody in the last few years, Timbaland scores with this song.

Timbo also is in top form with “In Person.” The beat recalls
’60s soul but, once again, it’s ruined by the ridiculously contrived snarkiness
of the group. The threat of “I’m a hurt him when I see him” is so absurd that
it makes those who believed the universe to be geocentric seem reasonable.


Timbaland might be the only producer here who actually tries
on Domination. “Happily Never After,”
co-written by Ne-Yo, features both a bland beat and a synthesized background but,
perhaps worst of all, an acoustic guitar that sounds like it has been
pro-tooled into oblivion. Really, why bother using real instruments at all?

Behind the boards or not, talent behind the lyrics is in
shorter supply than Antarctica’s palm tree reserve. The Dolls (and guests) are
so hard up for lyrics that it’s a wonder that they even bothered with them at

Witness part of the chorus from “When I Grow Up,” Domination‘s first single: “Careful what you wish for ’cause
you just might get it.” Um, OK, that’s usually used as a caution. But the song
is about the Dolls wanting to grow up and be famous. So, the song is
mystifyingly stupid on multiple levels: the Dolls caution themselves about
something that’s already happened (which is insane on its own) — not to mention
something positive — and yet they still wish it to happen in the future. Got
that? I need Albert Einstein and a flowchart to fully explain this disaster.
It’s like a M?bius strip mind-fuck extravaganza.

Or, perhaps the album’s second single illustrates this
point. “Whatcha Think About That” features a guest spot from Missy Elliot who
utters the train wreck, “Play like Katy Perry, kissing on girls.” So, even the
guests are so out of ideas lyrically that they’re forced to make references to
other pop songs — from the same year. Hell, from the same season.

As an instrumental record, Doll Domination might very well be decent. Some of the production is
stellar and doesn’t deserve to be waterboarded by the Dolls’ “singing.” But as
it stands, Domination is just
another example of why modern pop music is unjustifiable trash — trash that
isn’t even worth the plastic onto which it’s encoded.

Don’t cha wish this album didn’t exist?

1/2 star out of 5

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