In spite of nods to hip-hop and R&B on tracks like “Fightin’ over Me” (Fat Joe and Jada Kiss rock the hook on this one), Paris reflects a serious Madonna obsession. She nixed the original album she recorded with Green Day producer Rob Cavallo — she wanted it to be more ’80s mall girl, less rock and roll. And she got what she paid for. “Turn It Up,” the second single, opens with Paris oozing ohhs and ahhs as if she’d been pumped full of estrogen supplements. Later she tells whoever is interested in boffing her that he’d better “know what to do” in order to “make her holler.” Jet-setting heiresses don’t have the time to drill their boyfriends on female erotic zones.

SEX: is the heady, overreaching theme of Paris.
“Nothing in This World” is Paris’s shrieking climax and any DJ’s wet dream — forget Kylie Minogue stand-bys, this is the song that can get drinks thrown to the floor and hands flung into the air. And with “Jealousy,” which is purported to have been written about her feud with former best friend Nicole Richie, Paris segues into a Donna Summers–esque slow jam that at long last expands on what really happened between them once Richie melted into a size double zero and Paris turned into “the fat one.” According to P-Hilt, complex emotions were at stake: “I was always happy when I was watching you become a star/But you were only happy when the world was opening up my scars/And now I’m like the devil/Well if I am then what does that make you?/You sold yourself for your fame/You’ll still never walk a day in my shoes.” True enough, Paris’s size 11 Dior heels would look ridiculous on Richie’s skeletal ankles. But Paris wouldn’t mind watching Nicole crack a few vertebrae trying to make them work.

The album gets some salacious early foreplay with “Stars Are Blind”; whoever selected this as Paris’s first single deserves a huge Christmas bonus. The track blooms into a skank-dance-in-your-seat, reggae-infused booster shot, and it’s on the brink of becoming the penultimate song of the summer. “Stars” already trumps “A Public Affair,” Jessica Simpson’s feeble “Holiday” ripoff call to the ladies. And unlike Disney Radio darling Hilary Duff’s “Wake Up,” it gives Paris a chart-topping crossover that will have 11-year-olds shaking underdeveloped hips alone in their rooms. It also all but guarantees that boozing club kids will be grinding to remixed versions straight through the holiday season.

As I gawk at pictures of Paris flaunting herself on the red carpet during various award shows, or listen to her talk to the tabloid press in her flip California accent, her fake ’n’ bake tan shimmering in the Hollywood sun and one of her pet Chihuahuas clutched to her chest, I can’t help wondering what’s really knocking around inside that bleach-blond head of hers. Does it matter? Probably not: she’s living the myth, and that’s satisfying enough for now.

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