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Pussycat Dolls - 'When I Grow Up'

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Vicki Vicki | 12:09 UK time, Saturday, 6 September 2008

Pussycat Dolls: doing gymnasticsSo, groupies or boobies? No, this isn't a Sophie's Choice-style ultimatum, or perhaps some kind of weird new daytime TV gameshow, but a raging internet debate about the new Pussycat Dolls single. Is the lyric in the chorus "I wanna see the world, drive nice cars, I wanna have groupies" or "I wanna have boobies"? It amused me to no end when I logged on to YouTube to see both sides of this argument still being hotly contested, but at least the song's getting people impassioned enough to argue about it, which can only be a good thing, right? (For the record, I'm fairly sure it's "groupies", although "boobies" is much, much funnier.)

I must admit, I honestly didn't think we were ever going to see new material from the Pussycat Dolls. What with members departing since the last album (bye, Carmit! We'll miss your fierce super-red hair and the way you looked way older than the rest of the band despite only being four years older than Nicole!), the reality show devoted to finding a new member who decides she doesn't want to join the band after all and then the other reality show devoted to finding a group of girls to make a scantily-clad girlband of their very own and Nicole off trying to launch a solo career in the face of overwhelming adversity (read: every attempt at a lead single bombing in the US), I kind of thought they were done.

But they're back! With a song that was originally given to Nicole for her ill-fated solo album Her Name Is Nicole! It's good to see that the dynamics of the group remain fundamentally unchanged, I guess. It kicks off promisingly, with the deployment of the all-important siren sample, while Nicole purrs "now I've got a confession, when I was young I wanted attention." Phew, good job she grew out of that phase! Oh, and the rest of the Dolls' response to this is to laugh at her. That's charming.

Joking aside, this is a strong comeback from the group, with all the sass of 'Don't Cha' with an added bonus of vocoders and an irritatingly repetitive yet catchy melody. There is a slight problem though: the whole song seems to be centred around the desire to be famous when you grow up, which while not my favourite of all messages to give out to The Kids (especially since this appears to be one of those cases where the method of achieving fame is fairly secondary - they haven't actually included a line where they say "and if it turns out I can't sing or act or model or present, I'll just go on Big Brother, but they might as well have done), is still a fairly universal concept, but the post-chorus hook just keeps repeating "be careful what you wish for 'cos you just might get it" without ever really explaining why that's a bad thing. It just seems like this song wants to cover all the bases of fame without ever actually developing half of them, which is quite lazy lyric-writing in my book.

But in all fairness: who cares? It's hella catchy, and really, who's the bigger fool here - the Pussycat Dolls lyricist who wrote some vaguely nonsensical lyrics, or the reviewer who expected anything different?

Four starsCD Released: September 8th

(Steve Perkins)



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