PUSSYCAT DOLLS: HELLLO DOLLY
With their 2005 debut LP ‘PCD’ having sold over seven million globally, the California-based Pussycat Dolls have become far-and-away the world’s biggest girl-group of their time. Mean-while, this month sees said feisty fivesome return with their all-important sophomore set, the appropriately-titled ‘Doll Domination’.
Overseen by mega-producer-of-the-day Timbaland and boasting additional input from fellow big-time US studio-bods like Rodney Jerkins, Cee-Lo Green and Polow Da Don, ‘Doll Domination’ (pioneered by the aggressively-pounding Top Three single ‘When I Grow Up’) sees Nicole Scherzinger, Ashley Roberts, Jessica Sutta, Melody Thornton and Kimberly Wyatt largely ditching the show-tune cover-versions that first-time-round betrayed the band’s burlesque-dance-troupe beginnings, to deliver an on-point album of consistent quality that both re-writes and defines the rule-book of contemporary urban pop - through cuts like the melodic R. Kelly duet ‘Out Of This Club’ and the sassy’n’funky ‘Elevator’.
With The Dolls back in London on promo chores, an affable and sweet-sounding Melody (the group’s stunning Latin-and-Afro-American-rooted member) enjoys a brief-yet-informative chat with ‘B&S’ regarding the world-conquering quintet’s current and future activities.
What’s the meaning behind your current single ‘When I Grow Up’?
“Different people interpret the song in different ways. Some say the idea behind it is just to follow your dreams and always pursue what it is that you wanna be. Others just like it as a fun, uptempo pop song that you can really get down to. While others see a deeper meaning behind it. You know, there’s a part where we say ‘Be careful what you wish for; ‘Cause you just might get it’... Which I feel is relevant for everybody in the industry, and to anything in general that you wanna pursue in your lifetime. Because, if you strive for higher and bigger things, you have to understand that - along with that - comes hard work and dealing with a lot of stuff that you’d never assume you’d HAVE to. So yeah, while the song is meant to be playful, it still does have that little warning twist to it.”
How did you come to title your new LP ‘Doll Domination’?
“That actually originated here in London. We were doing promotion around the first album, and talking about how we seemed to be doing so much that it was crazy! It felt like we were trying to conquer the world! And then, one of our makeup artists came out with ‘It’s kind of like DOLL DOMINATION!’! So we were like “Yeah, it IS!’… And we just took that idea and RAN with it!... Along with our label, who ALSO loved the idea of calling the second album ‘Doll Domination’!”
How would you break your new album down musically?
“This time we’ve got a lotta songs that really do showcase vocally what The Pussycat Dolls are capable of, while also moving into several different genres. So, while we do have some club songs that are pleasing for the R&B or hip hop community and some smooth slow-jams, we’ve also done some alternative and soft-rock-sounding ballads. So it’s definitely very eclectic. Basically we were concerned with maintaining and pleasing the fan-base that we already have, while also taking it to another level and growing musically. So some of the songs this time round do have more mature messages that people can relate to. Like ‘I Hate This Part’, which talks about that time in a relationship when you`re getting near the end. So overall I guess ‘Doll Domination’ is really all about us just trying to evolve. Just like most people wanna do, I guess, with their second album.”
How do you feel about The Pussycat Dolls being the only globally-successful girl-group of today?
“I definitely feel really good about us being the only ones out there right now at that level! The one thing Jessica always says - and I agree with her - is the main reason The Pussycat Dolls continue moving in a successful direction is because we all get along, and we all understand one another. It genuinely does have a lot to do with us having a mutual respect for one another, and actually wanting to be a GROUP! Because it IS more difficult for female-groups than male-groups - because women are naturally the way women ARE! And, if you don’t actually like each other and you don’t want each other to succeed and are constantly bringing each other down, then of course the group will suffer! But I can honestly say that it’s the complete opposite to that with The Pussycat Dolls. Because we do genuinely all support each other, to where it really is like a sisterhood of sorts.”
So what other plans are in the pipeline for The Pussycat Dolls right now?
“Well, musically there are a lot of people we’d like to work with that we haven’t yet had the pleasure of collaborating with - like Pharrell, Madonna… I mean, we were just talking about doing something with MIA - which would be so nuts! Plus, in terms of outside the group, I think everybody has aspirations to do SOMETHING in the entertainment industry. Whether that be making a solo album, songwriting, or making a movie and concentrating solely on the acting... You know, the sky’s the LIMIT! There’s just a lot of possibilities out there, including maybe a Pussycat Dolls movie… Though, having said that, recently we have just been concentrating pretty much exclusively on ‘Doll Domination’ and on just making the best album possible. Because we definitely don’t want to do anything mediocre, and we do wanna deliver the best music we possibly can. Because then everything ELSE just kinda falls into line.”
The single 'When I Grow Up' is out now. The album ‘Doll Domination' follows September 22, both through Interscope Records
Words PETE LEWIS