Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Danity Kane - Welcome To The Dollhouse (Bad Boy)

Imagine, for a moment, if Girls Aloud were suddenly dragged kicking, screaming and frothing at the gobs back to Popstars: The Rivals. Hell, they have a job getting Nadine to acknowledge she’s even in the band on a good day, let alone participate in something that would set their careers back half a decade.

And yet, dispatching fellow reality alumni Danity Kane back to square one seems to have done them one hell of a favour. Perhaps the demands of crafting their second album entirely in front of the cameras has pushed them to surpass their debut, or perhaps Diddy has proved himself to be a constructive, motivational, compassionate boss? No, it’ll definitely be the first one…

Welcome to the Dollhouse, the sophomore album from the one true success story of Making The Band thus far, is a far cry from the non-specific, bottom-drawer nothingness of the first record. Granted, it had its high points, but a strenuous amount of digging was required to locate them. No such exertion is needed here.

The opening line of Damaged – the potentially-immortal “Do you got a first aid kit handy?” – lyrically embodies the exact sentiment of femstravagant pluck that the first album was so bereft of. (It’s also a reminder of the existence of Shannon Bex, who could no longer be mistaken for Ashlee Simpson missing her cue and wandering onstage into the hub of an R&B girl group.)
And from there, the triumphs just keep coming, most notably in Bad Girl, a thundrous lunar lullaby which gets more than its money’s worth from a Missy Elliott cameo. The R&B rulebook has certainly been consulted though, with every urban cliché ticked at least once. The majority of tracks cover that habitually-visited subject matter of rutting like bunnies on a conjugal visit, albeit draped in all manners of swingbeat gloop.

The balladry hasn’t been abandoned altogether – let’s face it, they’d be deported for crimes against the genre for even thinking it –yet it doesn’t act as a minus, merely a stop-gap from the overtones of thrusting, flexing and ladyjiggling.

That said, the overall tone of the album is a far cry from the American standard. Welcome To The Dollhouse is a tidy inventory of Danity Kane as artists, dressed up with sufficient fizz ‘n’ bullion to give it that vital international push. Harder beats married with distinct melodies, the correct amount of fresh foibles, and most importantly, masses of attitude make for, frankly, the record that should have been their debut.


Anonymous said...

i wouldnt call their first album, non-specific bottom drawer nothingness. In my opinion they showed their voices of way more in the first album, but in this album their voices took a backseat to the beats. On top of that, i still listen to the first album today, whereas i dont think i will still be listening to 'bad girl' two years from now.

Anonymous said...

amazing album. i just prelistened and downloaded it here: http://lavamus.com/Album/2446298/Danity_Kane/Welcome_To_The_Dollhouse/mp3/

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