Pussycat Dolls
PCD


2.5
average

Review

by Nick Butler EMERITUS
January 17th, 2007 | 25 replies


Release Date: 2005 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Rather than being the camp classic it seemed it would, PCD comes out as a confused, confusing album, bloated by boring covers and average ballads.

Based purely on the concept, I was pretty much ready to love the Pussycat Dolls before I'd even heard a note of their music. This, right here, is what pop has been building up to ever since the Spice Girls changed the pop landscape. Here, in the Pussycat Dolls, we have a band who don't pretend to be anything other than manufactured, sugary, catchy, throwaway pop - in fact, they seem pretty proud of it, in an admirably camp way. Dancers first and singers second. In fact, in 5 out of 6 cases, not even singers at all - only one Doll is credited with vocals, and she was discovered on a reality TV show. Truly, a postmodern pop wet dream.

And "Don't Cha"? What a song. Again, it's brilliant because it's so proud of just how trashy it is - here is a pop anthem that is ALL about sex. And not in a nudge-nudge-wink-wink kind of way, or a sleazy kind of way, or even an intellectual kind of way. It's just a song about how sexy the Dolls are, and how much they enjoy sex. Hell, it's about how fun no-strings-attached sex can be, too. Cock rock bands spent most of the 70s and 80s writing songs like this from the male perspective - here's the response. It's knowingly teasing, sexy, and fun. Girl power.

Could this be it, then? The ultimate trashy, disposable, fun pop record? An easy-on-the-eye girl band with no preoccupations other than having fun and getting laid? Heaven knows it's long overdue.

But no. That'd be too good to be true. They shattered that image with their third single ("Sway" was the first, way back in 2004, in case you missed that), "Stickwitu". A limp, lifeless ode to sticking by your man. Man, screw that. I can get this sort of crap on any other girl band's album. It's nowhere near as sickly or disgustingly submissive and sexist as something like Destiny's Child's "Cater 2 U" - matter of fact, it's better than a lot of the songs it could be compared to - but it still leaves a bitter aftertaste.

Luckily, the upbeat tracks outnumber the ballads easily. Major credit goes to Will.I.Am for the hilarious "Beep", the fourth single, and pretty much the only thing here that stands up to "Don't Cha" (it's quite possibly better, actually). It welds that track to Will.I.Am's own previous attempt at a hilarious female-perspective sex-obsessed camp anthem (Black Eyed Peas' "My Humps"), and ends up being as sexy as the former and even funnier than the latter. "Buttons", "Bite The Dust", "Flirt".....they all follow the pattern. Sex on the brain, for both artist and listener. None of them work as well as the singles, and sonically they're not far from being all over the place ("Flirt", in particular, is a shock to the system, being a heavy, propulsive, guitar-driven rock track), but they're enjoyable enough. "I Don't Need A Man" sits somewhere between the two - the message seems a little odd on an album like this (we already know their stance on men by this point, surely?), but it's a good song nonetheless, despite being so 80s it could have easily slotted onto the GTA: Vice City soundtrack.

So there's that, and then there's the ballads, right? Wrong. Matter of fact, apart from "Stickwitu", only "How Many Times, How Many Lies" could really be considered a ballad. The rest of the album? Cover versions. I'm not kidding, folks - there are no less than 4 cover versions here, and all of them are stupidly obvious choices. There's the Northern soul classic "Tainted Love", rendered ubiquitous by Soft Cell, the aforementioned "Sway", "Hot Stuff", and "Feelin' Good". Anybody who hasn't heard all 4 of these songs before in their life has probably not really listened to any music during their lifetime. And, "Sway" aside, all of them are really, really average versions at best. They try to rough up "Tainted Love" and fail (even Marilyn Manson did it better), "Hot Stuff" sounds dated as hell, and "Feelin' Good" is turned into a pretty pointless vocal workout for Nicole. None of them stand up to other covers of the same tracks, let alone the originals.

But what really grates about all the covers is that they're totally un-necessary. This is a MAJOR budget pop album we're talking about. They roped in some pretty major names to write tracks here (even Timbaland makes an appearance on another highlight track, "Wait A Minute") - surely they have got some more people in to write some decent original material, rather than regurgitating songs 90% of everyone in the world is tired of by now?

So yes, ultimately, PCD is a failure. There are some great songs here, no doubt, but they merely win the proverbial battles on the way to losing the war. Hopefully the creases are obvious enough to be ironed out easily in time for their second outing, should there be one.

A pretty confusing album, all told.



Recent reviews by this author
Krzysztof Penderecki and Jonny Greenwood Krzysztof Penderecki / Jonny GreenwoodLana Del Rey Paradise
Scott Walker Bish BoschEmilie Autumn Fight Like A Girl
Susanne Sundfor The Silicone VeilPepe Deluxe Queen of the Wave
user ratings (80)
Chart.
1.6
very poor

Comments:Add a Comment 
Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

And thus beings the porting over from my other account.

The Jungler
January 17th 2007


4827 Comments


Hearing this band cover Tainted Love would scar my childhood for a good long time. That being said, I really really like some of the singles off this, though I must agree with you on Stickwitu. It's garbage.
[quote=iai]Nah. Too informal. Iai is for professional-standard reviews, Stem/Long Stem is basically for randomly venting when I have an hour to spare.[/quote]what happened here? Very good review anyways.

Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Basically, I don't have the time to do Iai-standard reviews at all any more, and I didn't want this account to be entirely for sound-offs.

I also climbed down out of my own ass a little bit to be honest.

Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

Man this is an Iai review dagnammitThis Message Edited On 01.17.07

Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I'll do my best.

Neoteric
January 17th 2007


3243 Comments


It's still a great review, long doesn't necessarily mean good. Short reviews can do the jobs just as well as long ones and it shows here.

Spectrum
January 17th 2007


347 Comments


When will Pop music ever grow up, or at least learn to be consistent within the context of itself? Solid review, mate, and pretty much confirms my suspicions about the band and album. I think I might have even heard their "Tainted Love" cover, and I remember thinking just how terrible it was. Not even "Don't Cha" does it for me, but that might have to do with my rather harsh feelings about general Pop music today.

Oh man, just because a review's long doesn't mean it's good. I learned that the hard way with my most recent submission. My short ones are way better than that one. This is a good review, because it says what needs to be said in concise fashion. I like it.This Message Edited On 01.17.07

Iai
Emeritus
January 17th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

I always really liked this review, to be fair. I'm not entirely why this ended up as a S/LS review in the first place.

Jom
Staff Reviewer
January 17th 2007


2707 Comments


Every time I see/hear that Heineken commercial, I cringe a little inside.
Nice review, though, and a solid read.

Two-Headed Boy
January 17th 2007


4527 Comments


I heard this at my local CD store and I was ready to tear up the floor in an aura of dance.

On about four of the songs, most of which were singles. The rest kinda suck.

JumpTheF**kUp
January 17th 2007


2716 Comments


Don't Cha' is the best song ever. Well, not really, but it's catchy etc.

This review is good also.This Message Edited On 01.17.07

morrissey
Moderator
January 17th 2007


1688 Comments


Ok I still hate 5/6 people in this group but "Buttons" is nothing if not awesome.

JumpTheF**kUp
January 17th 2007


2716 Comments


Love morrissey, not hate. Learn to love.

Freeyourmind707
January 21st 2007


71 Comments


The lead singer is really cute but I despise what they represent.

Iai
Emeritus
March 13th 2007


3553 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

You despise sex?

antihippy
March 31st 2007


696 Comments


^^ hah. i lol'd at that one.

and did you know they're searching for someone new? they turned that into a tv show.

Hatshepsut
August 3rd 2007


1997 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

lol
I like this a lot. Wait a Minute is catchy as hell, and so are some others.

Chewie
February 17th 2008


4532 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

ya brainless pop music about being a dumb slut is awesome!

Eliminator
February 17th 2008


2067 Comments


you should make a list about hating brainless pop music about being a dumb slut
that would be awesome bro

BallsToTheWall
September 21st 2008


44805 Comments


On the verge of acquiring new album.

Digging: Pink Turns Blue - If Two Worlds Kiss



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy