Time off - Music

Doll Domination, The Pussycat Dolls

Less a girl band and more a global franchise, the Pussycat Dolls have spawned toys, computer game characters, TV shows, and even their own Las Vegas girlie bar. Their beguiling mixture of sex appeal and block-rocking beats means that even as you are cursing them for besmirching the sisterhood, you are tapping your feet to their thumping, if slightly overproduced, R'n'B.

They've been on a bit of a downward slide since 2005's "Don't Cha", a feisty slice of bump and grind that succeeded in making boyfriend stealing sound camply amusing. So can they rediscover their groove with their latest album, Doll Domination, out this week? Debut single, "When I grow up", may have hit number nine in the US charts, but it sounds confused and lacklustre. The follow-up, "Whatcha Think About That", is more promising, featuring Missy Elliot and the sort of sultry pop hooks we've come to expect from this stilettoed band of former burlesque dancers. Doll domination? Quite possibly.

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