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Doll Domination is The Pussycat Dolls' second and final studio album that was released on September 19, 2008 by Interscope Records.

TracklistingEdit

  1. When I Grow Up 4:06
  2. Bottle Pop (featuring Snoop Dogg) 3:30
  3. Watcha Think About That (featuring Missy Elliott) 3:48
  4. I Hate This Part 3:39
  5. Takin' Over The World 3:35
  6. Out Of This Club (featuring R. Kelly and Polow da Don) 4:08
  7. Who's Gonna Love You 4:00
  8. Happily Never After 4:49
  9. Magic 3:41
  10. Halo 5:24
  11. In Person 3:36
  12. Elevator 3:41
  13. Hush Hush 3:49
  14. Love The Way You Love Me 3:21
  15. Whatchamacallit 4:20
  16. I'm Done 3:18

Deluxe Edition Bonus Disc

  1. If I Was A Man (introducing Jessica Sutta) 3:32
  2. Space (introducing Melody Thornton) 3:08
  3. Don't Wanna Fall In Love (introducing Kimberly Wyatt) 3:22
  4. Played (introducing Ashley Roberts) 3:20
  5. Until U Love U (introducing Nicole Scherzinger) 3:39

Album BackgroundEdit

The Pussycat Dolls' debut album, "PCD" was a commercial success selling up to 2.9 million records in the United States. The album featured three top ten hits including the international breakthrough single "Don't Cha."

The success brought the group a wide array of spin-offs which included a CW reality series, "Pussycat Dolls Present: The Search for the Next Doll."

Executively produced by the Pussycat Dolls founder Robin Antin, her brother Steven Antin, record executive Jimmy Iovine, and television producers McG & Ken Mok, the goal of the show was add a seventh member to the group who would join them in recording their second studio album & future tour endeavors.

In the show's finale on April 24th, Asia Nitollano was announced as the winner of the competition. Following her win, she joined the group in a performance of their debut single "Don't Cha". However, several months later, it was revealed that Nitollano had actually quit the group shortly after the finale aired to pursue a solo career.

Over the course of two years (from 2005 to 2007), lead singer Nicole Scherzinger recorded 75 to 100 songs for her planned debut solo album. In March 2007, Scherzinger announced that the album would be titled "Her Name is Nicole" and was initially scheduled to be released in late summer.

In September of 2007, Scherzinger released her debut single, "Baby Love" (featuring will.i.am.) which achieved moderate success on the charts.

Due to the lack of success with her other three singles: "Whatever U Like" (featuring T.I.), "Supervillain" and "Puakenikeni" along with a number of pushbacks, Scherzinger decided not to release anymore singles and at her request, "Her Name Is Nicole" was shelved.

After Scherzinger's solo album was shelved, she shifted focus on the Pussycat Dolls' second album. Additionally, four songs recorded for "Her Name is Nicole" were given by Scherzinger to The Pussycat Dolls as she felt that the songs were better suited for the group; these songs included "When I Grow Up", "I Hate This Part", "Who's Gonna Love You" and "Happily Never After."

On March 3, 2008, Carmit Bachar announced via the group's website that she had left the group intending to pursue a solo career; at the time of her departure, she had been the longest member of the group, joining in 1995 when they were a burlesque act.

On March 10, the Pussycat Dolls performed for the first time without Bachar for the Operation MySpace concert which honored US troops stationed in Kuwait.

On August 12, 2008, the group unveiled the album artwork for the standard edition of the album.

The cover depicts each member on motorcycles that bears a medallion displaying their initials. Maura of Idolator saw the cover as a step for the four members "to finally break through and maybe, someday, have personalities of their own."

CompositionEdit

"Doll Domination" comprises of 16 tracks on the standard edition and 21 on the deluxe edition (five of which are songs credited to each individual member).

In terms of musical composition, critics noted that it follows the same formula as their debut album; self-assuring themes, sultry lyrics and thumping dance beats.

The album opens up with "When I Grow Up" an uptempo R&B and electropop song which is centered around the desire to be famous when one grows up. Nic Oliver from musicOMH opined that the track "sets the template for the rest of the album."

"Bottle Pop" which features Snoop Dogg consists of "breathy vocals, funky electronica and sexual innuendo."

"Whatcha Think About That" is a mid tempo electropop and R&B song which is built around a distinctive bhangra-ish guitar riff. The song features three verses from rapper Missy Elliott who joins the group "for a boy-baiting session."

The fourth track "I Hate This Part" is an emotive ballad speaking about the conversation before a breakup.

"Takin' Over the World" "goes for these [girls] idea of global-pop" over "cool electro grooves."

The sixth track, "Out of This Club" which features American rapper R. Kelly and producer Polow da Don is "a slow jam" consisting of "rudimentary piano melodies" and a "plush beat against a romantic chorus."

"Who's Gonna Love You" (a leftover track from "Her Name Is Nicole") has been noted to have Janet Jackson influences, as well as "shimmering 80s gloss."

In "Happily Never After" Scherzinger narrates the story of a woman who walks out on a dead-end relationship.

The track "Magic" uses Middle Eastern rhythms.

Chart PerformanceEdit

"Doll Domination" debuted at #4 on the Billboard 200, selling 79,000 copies.

By April 2009, the album was a commercial disappointment in the United States, selling less than 400,000 copies.

Critical ReceptionEdit

At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, "Doll Domination" received an average score of 51, which indicates "mixed or average reviews", based on 12 reviews.

Writing for Billboard, Mariel Concepcion provided a favorable review, opining that the album has all "the elements (self-assuring themes, sultry lyrics and lots of skin-tight latex) to mimic the victory of [PCD]."

Steve Jones of USA Today agreed with Concepcion, but added they are "more interested in pushing their brand than pushing boundaries."

Writing for Slant Magazine, Sal Cinquemani found that "it was smart to spotlight the, talents of the other pussycats" following the cancellation of Her Name is Nicole."

Writing for the Washington Post, Allison Stewart noted that Scherzinger has "more of a central role" and viewed it as "a consolation prize" after the multiple delays on her solo album.

Jon Pareles of The New York Times noted that the ballads "are a move toward expanding the franchise" seeking "a little empathy along with the attitude."

In a more mixed review, Rolling Stone's Christian Hoard singled out several songs but concluded that the record "sounds like the Dolls just threw everything they had against the charts to see if anything would stick."

Elan Priya of The Times wrote that the album that "lacks any distinct personality."

August Brown from the Los Angeles Times noted that the tracks don't come "within [the] sniffing distance of 'Don't Cha,' Instead, they act out as a "a series of signifiers to other, more interesting, moments in recent pop culture."

Ken Capobianco of The Boston Globe stated that the album does not live up to their debut album.

Margeaux Watson of Entertainment Weekly graded the album a C–, criticizing the album's longevity "especially for a group that brazenly emphasizes style over substance."

Glenn Gamboa of Newsday wrote: "As far as music is concerned, they are not the dominators, they are the dominated," adding that "they sound like they are at the mercy of their songwriters and producers, making for huge swings in quality.

Stephen Thomas Erlewine of Allmusic found it ironic that a group coming from a burlesque revue sings songs about "empowerment, heartbreak, love, fame and wealth, but never about sex." He ended his review writing, "it's a lot better to hear pinups sing a song of striptease than a song of love."

Nic Oliver from musicOMH was also more negative of the record, opining that it is an "album heading straight for the bargain bins" under the file "dispiriting."

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