Danity Kane

    {grate 3} Danity Kane may be a group manufactured by sugar diddy Sean
    Combs via an MTV reality television show, but its ability to amass loyal fans
    and serve up radio and club-ready hits has been backed by its platinum
    self-titled debut. It has been two years since the release of the hit single
    “Show Stopper,” and although the five dolls have tiptoed from hip-hop soul to
    dance-inducing synthpop, Welcome to the Dollhouse proves their artistic growth,
    uniformity and appealing sass. And all it takes is one cursory listen to
    understand why.

    The group faithfully croons, purrs and belts throughout the
    record with the help of producers Nate “Danja” Hills (of Britney Spears’ “Gimme
    More” fame), Bryan Michael Cox and Mario Winans. Most of the tracks are mid-
    and up-tempo with layered, breathy harmonies. Rousing opener “Bad Girl,”
    featuring Missy Elliott, showcases Danity Kane cooing over heavy drums as they
    vamp their seductive transformation “when the red light comes on.” In standout
    cuts such as “Strip Tease,” “Lights Out” and their newly released single
    “Damaged,” their vocals are sliced, diced and spliced, stuttering along to
    Danja’s space-age Price beats (“What’s underneath my exterior-ior-ior?”).

    Despite its many high points, Welcome to the Dollhouse isn’t
    without a few shortcomings. Rick Ross didn’t do much to help the gritty
    “Ecstasy,” which prompts a press of the next button. Rather than hinting at
    seduction, mediocre tracks like “Hit It” (mainly comprised of the words “let’s
    hit it” and “we ‘bout to hit it”) flirt with banality and mask any genuine
    vocal talent (the vocals never reach beyond one octave).

    Still, Welcome to the Dollhouse is a solid collection of
    steamy party jams, slinky come-ons and urban balladry. As five singers with a
    hot sound, a hot look and hot beats, Danity Kane has the potential to
    consistently deliver radio-friendly funk, at least until Diddy’s attempt to
    stay relevant through other artists’ fizzles.

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