If you’re having flashbacks to the Spice Girls, there’s good reason. After being assembled in a garage (Christina Applegate’s, no less), turning celebrity heads at L.A.‘s Viper Room for six years, and eventually signing with Ron Fair at A&M Records, The Pussycat Girls have spawned an entire multimedia/multi-product franchise (a Pussycat Dolls lounge recently opened inside Cesar’s Palace in Las Vegas and branded lingerie, perfume, and video games are reportedly on the way). But while all six Pussycats have slightly different hair colors, the general public will be hard-pressed to name the group’s resident firey redhead (for the record, it’s Carmit, and she’s no Ginger Spice). Name recognition aside, The Pussycat Dolls have certainly carved a niche for themselves in 21st century pop history. Their brassy, sassy debut single, “Don’t Cha,” featuring Busta Rhymes, stormed the charts with its various incarnations, held from the pole position on Billboard’s Hot 100 only by Mariah Carey’s monster comeback “We Belong Together.” Even more surprising, their album, PCD, isn’t completely filled with filler! Otherwise degrading material (the tongue-in-cheek “Beep” and the subtly Middle Eastern “Buttons”) are a bit easier to swallow thanks, in part, to the group’s cartoonish image—the album’s ballads (“Stickwitu” and “How Many Times, How Many Lies”), though sufficiently un-icky, are still difficult to take seriously when followed by a song that begs a man to “loosen up my buttons.” According to the leader of the Pussycats, Hawaiian-Russian-Filipino “triple threat” Nicole Scherzinger, the group’s music is about self-empowerment, and that’s hard to dispute with songs like “Don’t Cha” and “I Don’t Need A Man.” Unfortunately, Nicole, Carmit, and the rest take the piss out of Donna Summer’s “Hot Stuff,” and their rendition of “Feelin’ Good,” produced by Ron Fair (who’s hand is behind most of PCD), is misguided at best. If The Pussycat Dolls really want to make their mark in the giant litter box that is popular music today, they need more of the big band burlesque of “Right Now” (though it’s not quite “It’s Oh So Quiet”) and less of Diane Warren.
- Slant is reaching more readers than ever before, but advertising revenue across the Internet is falling fast, hitting independently owned and operated publications like ours the hardest. We’ve watched many of our fellow media sites fall by the way side in recent years, but we’re determined to stick around.
We’ve never asked our readers for financial support before, and we’re committed to keeping our content free and accessible—meaning no paywalls or subscription fees. If you like what we do, however, please consider becoming a Slant patron.
You can also make a one-time donation via PayPal: