September 19, 2005 12:00 PM

DANCE-POP

PCD

They’ve gotten everyone from Gwen Stefani and Christina Aguilera to Pamela Anderson and Paris Hilton to shake their tails with them. And now the Pussycat Dolls are responsible for this year’s guiltiest pleasure in “Don’t Cha,” their hit single featuring Busta Rhymes that teasingly asks, “Don’t cha wish your girlfriend was hot like me?” The deliciously flirty dance track, which harks back to the ’80s nasty-girl groups Vanity 6 and the Mary Jane Girls, has turned a strip-club fantasy into Top 40 gold. The Dolls—who got their start performing at Johnny Depp‘s Viper Room in Hollywood and now have their own lounge at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas—keep the sexy fun going for most of the first half of their scratchy debut CD. The sextet gets some help from the Black Eyed Peas’ will.i.am, who produced and raps on the naughty bleepfest “Beep,” which ought to make Fergie jealous. Even better is “I Don’t Need a Man,” which finds the self-objectifying Dolls flipping the script in a rousing post-disco anthem for female empowerment complete with blaring horns. Unfortunately, the second half of PCD is less than purr-feet. The Dolls—led by singer Nicole Scherzinger, a former member of the girl group Eden’s Crush (“Get Over Yourself”)—stumble badly on a few remakes, including a big-band turn on Herbie Mann’s “Right Now” and a version of Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” that, even for a cheesecake act, is stained with too much cheesiness.

DOWNLOAD THIS: “Don’t Cha”

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