Danity Kane, an all-female R&B group with sexy interchangeable parts, is a result of Sean Combs’s latest experiment in staying relevant, the Making the Band reality show. They’re surprisingly capable singers, and the tracks on their second album, Welcome to the Dollhouse, are pretty effective R&B/pop numbers with a strong roster of producers, such as Danja and the Dream. But ultimately the album is merely a reward for sitting through a season of reality-show high jinks.
The whole concept may signal the birth of the new form of artist development, and in this era of plummeting record sales, Diddy has made a smart move in letting audiences look into the lives of his recording artists. This does create a sense of artificiality around the whole enterprise, but Danity Kane has what it needs in serving up radio-ready R&B: good singers with a hot look and some of the best beats around.
Things stay mostly up-tempo for the duration of the album, with standout cuts such as “Bad Girl” featuring Missy Elliott and the fierce Britney Spears throwaway “Strip Tease” produced by Danja. A variety of sounds are experimented with, from the electro flavor of “Pretty Boy” to the ’80s vibe of “Sucka for Love.” The operatic “Poetry” is rather emotional, yet still maintains the energy of the rest of the album.