Buttons (The Pussycat Dolls song)

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"Buttons"
Pussycatdolls single 05 buttons(4).jpg
Single by The Pussycat Dolls featuring Snoop Dogg
from the album PCD
B-side "Flirt"
Released April 11, 2006 (2006-04-11)
Format
Recorded 2005
Genre
Length 3:52
Label A&M
Songwriter(s)
Producer(s)
The Pussycat Dolls singles chronology
"Beep"
(2006) Beep2006
"Buttons"
(2006) Buttons2006
"I Don't Need a Man"
(2006) I Don't Need a Man2006
Snoop Dogg singles chronology
"Say Somethin'"
(2006) Say Somethin'2006
"Buttons"
(2006) Buttons2006
"Go to Church"
(2006) Go to Church2006

"Buttons" is a song by American girl group the Pussycat Dolls from their debut studio album PCD (2005). It was written by Sean Garrett, Jamal Jones, Jason Perry and Nicole Scherzinger and produced by the former two alongside Ron Fair, Tal Herzberg and Young Smoke. It was remixed with additional vocals from American rapper Snoop Dogg and was released as a digital download on April 11, 2006 as the album's fourth single. "Buttons" contains elements of Middle Eastern music, while the song's lyrics speaks of a woman's desire to be undressed.

Critics were divided on "Buttons" with some complimenting the song's production, however, others criticized it followed the same formula of their previous singles. The song reached the top-five in countries such as Australia, Germany, and the United Kingdom. The song reached number one in Austria and in New Zealand, where it became their fourth consecutive number one single on the chart. It peaked at number three on the US Billboard Hot 100 and sold over two million copies in the United States, making The Pussycat Dolls the first female group in digital history to have three singles pass the two million mark in digital sales.

The sepia-toned music video directed by Francis Lawrence features The Pussycat Dolls in various dance sequences. Other scenes include Scherzinger by herself singing the verses. Since its release, "Buttons" has become a staple in Scherzinger's live performances. It was part of the set lists of the group's two major tours, PCD World Tour (2006–07), Doll Domination Tour (2009) and Scherzinger's own Killer Love Tour (2012). It was nominated for two awards at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards for Best Dance Video and Best Choreography; it won the former award.

Background and composition[edit]

On December 19, 2005, the Pussycat Dolls performed at the 2005 Radio Music Awards a "racy rendition" of "Santa Baby" were Snoop Dogg joined them dressed up as Santa Claus.[1] Following their performance, Interscope Records asked Snoop Dogg to be part of the song adding two verses.[2] In February 2006 at the Grammy Style Studio event, Scherzinger announced that Snoop Dogg would be a guest in the remix exclaiming, "It's the D-O-double-G, baby!"[1]

"Buttons" was written by Sean Garrett, Jamal Jones, Jason Perry and Nicole Scherzinger and produced by the former two alongside Ron Fair, Tal Herzberg and Young Smoke.[3] The vocal production of "Buttons" was completed by Fair while engineering was handled by J.D. Andrew, Mike "Angry" Eleopoulos and Pro Tools by Tal Herzberg and Young Smoke.[3] It was mixed by Dave Pensado at Larabee Studios in Burbank, California.[3] Garrett wrote the song in a short amount of time, with Nicole Scherzinger in mind saying, "[she] is very sexy so the concept of loosening up her buttons,—every guy would want that and women wouldn't have a problem with guys loosening up their buttons."[4]

"Buttons" lasts three minutes and fifty-two seconds.[3] It was written in the key of D minor with a time signature in common time, with a moderate groove of 102 beats per minute. The group's vocal range spans from the low note of G3 to the high note of A4,[5] with Scherzinger adopting breathy vocals.[6] The group takes a submissive stance towards Snoop Dogg who "seems to be as the object of affection for the girls, who ask him to 'loosen up [our] buttons' and to not 'leave [us] asking for more'."[7][8]

Critical reception[edit]

Spence D. of IGN wrote that "it's familiar and funky, but it doesn't present anything new to the realm of female soul pop."[9] Sputnikmusic's Nick Butler in a review for PCD wrote that "Buttons" along with "Bite the Dust" and "Flirt" don't "work as well as the singles." However he did later write that "they're enjoyable enough."[10] Sal Cinquemani of Slant Magazine described "Buttons" and "Beep" as "degrading material" while noted that "[they] are a bit easier to swallow thanks, in part, to the group's cartoonish image."[11] Miriam Zendle of Digital Spy described the song as "horrible" and "horrible" as "Don't Cha" awarding it 1 out 5 stars.[7]

Vibe magazine listed it as the 28th best song of the year, describing it as song that "oozes sexuality."[6] Rolling Stone ranked "Buttons" at number 91 on their "100 Best Songs of the Year" list for it's "snaky synths, hot chorus, [and] Snoop cameo," from "a horny-girl-group."[12] In 2008, at the BMI Pop Awards "Buttons" recognized it as one of the "Award Winning Songs" and at the 24th ASCAP Pop Music Awards, it was recognized as one of the "Most Performed Songs" of 2005-06.[13][14] On the occasion of Snoop Dogg's 40th birthday, Erika Ramirez of Billboard included "Buttons" at number 4 on the list of "Snoop Dogg's Top 10 Billboard Hits".[15]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United States, the song debuted on the Billboard Hot 100 at number seventy-one on the issue dated May 27, 2006, earning the highest debut of the week.[16] In its tenth week, "Buttons" entered the top ten at number seven, and began to steadily climb up the chart.[17] It eventually reached a peak of three on September 16, 2006.[18] "Buttons" spent a total of 11 weeks inside the top ten of the Hot 100 and 30 weeks on the chart in total.[17] The track's Dave Audé remix topped the US Hot Dance Club Songs chart, while the album version peaked at number twenty on the same component chart.[19] On the Pop Songs the song peaked at number one for two weeks.[20] According to Nielsen Soundscan, as of January 24, 2010, the song has sold over 2 million digital downloads, making the Pussycat Dolls the first all-female group in digital history to have three singles—along with "Don't Cha" and "When I Grow Up"—pass the two million mark in digital sales.[21] The song was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for shipment of a million copies of the single.[22]

On July 3, 2006, "Buttons" debuted on the New Zealand Singles Chart at number thirty-eight based on airplay alone.[23] In its third week the song jumped thirty-one places to number one, earning the group's fourth consecutive number one.[24] Along with "Don't Cha", "Stickwitu", "Beep" and "Buttons", the Pussycat Dolls logged their twelfth week at the top.[24] The song also displaced Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy" from number one, which had spent the previous seven weeks atop the chart.[24] On November 13, 2006, "Buttons" has received a gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of New Zealand (RIANZ), denoting sales of 7,500 copies.

Music video[edit]

The music video for "Buttons" was directed by Francis Lawrence over a period of three days.[25] Speaking about the video Kimberly Wyatt said, "we decided to turn in up a notch; it was time to see what we're really about."[2] Carmit Bachar added "it's pretty much an ode to were we've come from."[25] The choreography was done by the group's founder, Robin Antin and Mikey Minden. Behind-the-scenes footage was included on The Pussycat Dolls live album Live from London (2006).[25]

Synopsis[edit]

The video begins with Snoop Dogg performing his rap while lead singer, Nicole Scherzinger dances around him seductively. As the first chorus begins the group, dressed in suggestive black outfits, walking towards a tunnel where they later perform a striptease. As the second chorus begins, they are seen performing upon a horizontal bar. Towards the end of the chorus Scherzinger separates herself from the group and performs against a backdrop of curtains made from jewelry then proceeds to dance around a chair. Before the chorus begins four additional chairs and the group performs a dance routine. Melody Thornton is separated from the rest doing her melismatic ad-libs on the chorus. When Snoop Dogg's verse begins, The Pussycat Dolls are shown walking towards him. During the breakdown, the girls dance while smoke is filled and halfway through the video, the floor turns on fire. The video ends with the girls walking away.

Recognition[edit]

The music video was acclaimed by critics and won several awards. Tom Breihan from The Village Voice ranked the video at number 10 on his favorite videos of the year commenting, "Obvious reasons and all, but this is also a big, glossy pop video done right: flashy editing, decent choreography, a distinct look. If those are easy things to do, why isn't every pop video this good?"[26] The video received two nominations for Best Dance Video and Best Choreography at the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards; it lost Best Choreography to Shakira's "Hips Don't Lie", but won Best Dance Video.[27] It was also nominated at the 2007 MTV Australia Video Music Awards for Best Hook Up but lost Justin Timberlake's "SexyBack".[28] Contessa Gayles of AOL Music Blog included the music video at number 39 on the list of Top 50 Dance Music Videos.[29] Canadian music channel MuchMusic the video at number 4 in the list of the 50 Sexiest Music Videos of All-Time.[30] MuchMusic also included the song on their Top 10 Hottest Videos at number 4 in 2012.[31] It was also ranked at number 85 on Fuse's 100 Sexiest Videos of All Time.[32] VH1 called it a "stripalicious song that makes you want to undress."[33] Since being posted in 2009, the video has garnered over 200 million views on YouTube.

Live performances[edit]

On June 30, 2006, the Pussycat Dolls appeared on Good Morning America as part of its Summer Concert Series performing "Don't Cha", "Buttons" and "Stickwitu".[34] On September 8, 2006 they performed "Buttons" at the Fashion Rocks where they were joined by rapper Jibbs.[35] At the 2006 American Music Awards the performed "Buttons" wearing "sparkly sequined mini dress[es]."[36] Corey Moss of MTV wrote that their performance "had the auditorium bumping."[37]

The Pussycat Dolls performed "Buttons" and "When I Grow Up" at the opening of the 2008 MTV Asia Awards.[38] The song was also included in the set list of their Doll Domination Tour (2009), being the sixth track performed.[39] Colene McKessick of Press and Journal said that, "hits such as 'When I Grow Up', 'I Hate This Part' and 'Buttons', [set] the crowd into a frenzy.[40] Nicole Scherzinger performed it as part of a Pussycat Dolls medley included during the concerts of her first solo tour in support of her debut studio album, Killer Love (2011).[41]

Track listing[edit]

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits adapted from the liner notes of PCD.[3]

Mixing
Personnel

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/Sales
Australia (ARIA)[84] Platinum 70,000^
Belgium (BEA)[85] Gold 25,000*
Brazil (Pro-Música Brasil)[86] Gold 50,000*
Denmark (IFPI Denmark)[87] Platinum 15,000^
New Zealand (RMNZ)[88] Gold 5,000*
United Kingdom (BPI)[89] Silver 200,000^
United States (RIAA)[90] Platinum 1,000,000^
Ringtone
United States (RIAA)[91] Platinum 1,000,000^

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone

Radio and release history[edit]

Country Date Format Label Ref.
United States April 11, 2006 Digital download Interscope [92]
Canada [93]
United States May 8, 2006 Contemporary hit radio [94]
Rhythmic radio
United Kingdom June 23, 2006 Extended play Polydor [95]
June 26, 2006 Digital download [96]
Germany Universal Music [97]
July 7, 2006 CD single [98]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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