The rousing Missy Elliot-assisted ‘Bad Girl’ lifts the album off to a great start. With its up-tempo, whimsical production – courtesy of Danja – and clever play on the album’s title concept (‘When the red light comes on I transform’), the track sets the tone for the rest of the record. Elsewhere, the metaphorically steamy ‘Striptease’, as well the club-destined ‘Pretty Boy’ (both also produced by Danja) are standouts. The great reception of the album’s lead single ‘Damaged’ also speaks for itself.
Markedly more Pop sounding than their 2006 debut, ‘Dollhouse’ possess a distinct appeal to a broader audience. The synthpop sounding ‘Sucka For Love’ – a personal favourite – as well as ‘Lights Out’ are good examples of this; as are edgy standouts ‘Poetry’ and ‘Is Anybody Listening?’
Despite its many highpoints, ‘Dollhouse’ isn’t without a few shortcomings. The gritty ‘Ecstasy’, which is somewhat reminiscent to the group’s first single ‘Show Stopper’, could have done without the Rick Ross feature – totally unneeded. ‘Street credibility’ may have been a reason, yet the end result makes it tempting to hit the skip button. What’s more, the Bryan Michael Cox produced ‘2 of You’ suffers from the text-book case of ‘awesome production, terrible lyrics’ – ‘You got me having breakfast in the afternoon…’ Ok then. ‘Ain’t Going Nowhere’ – a collaboration with fellow ‘Making The Band’ co-stars Day26 and Donnie- seems out of place on the otherwise very well flowing record.
With ‘Welcome To the Dollhouse’, Danity Kane, not only deliver a solid collection of sassy, assertive radio-ready hits, the ladies serve up their most cohesive effort yet – highlighting both their artistic growth and uniformity as a group. Indeed, one of the better releases so far this year, ‘Dollhouse’ sets the group head and shoulders above their competition. The successors to the girl-group thrown vacated by a certain Destiny’s Child, perhaps? A long shot, maybe, but Danity Kane are undoubtedly headed in the right direction.