August 30, 2008

My Gut Reaction: Fergie - The Dutchess (September 13, 2006)

Stacy Ferguson, former cast member of Kids Incorporated, former member of girl group Wild Orchid (whatever happened to the other two girls in the group?), former crystal meth addict, current member of the Black Eyed Peas, and the only reason that the Black Eyed Peas receive any sort of publicity whatsoever, released her debut solo album, The Dutchess (incorrect spelling and all) almost immediately after using the last two Black Eyed Peas albums to catapult her into stardom, while leaving the other three guys in the group in the fucking dust. (I realize I just came off as bitter, but I'm the rare blogger that actually never gave a fuck about the Black Eyed Peas, even before they added the girl to the crew: all of their songs just sounded boring to me, from "Joints & Jam" to "Weekends", which featured Esthero).

Anyway, Fergie parlayed her new found fame into a successful solo career, taking over pop radio one song at a time, alternating between rapping and singing whenever it was convenient for her. The Dutchess has sold millions of copies and still continues to be one of the best-selling CDs today, even though its original release date was almost two years ago. I was not one of those suckers that picked this album up, though: I found it at the library, which has been the savior to my wallet for a while now, except for when I turn in shit late.

Everyone always gives Fergie shit for that picture that popped up online where she appeared to have pissed herself while performing live, and while that story is fucking hilarious, my favorite memory of Stacy has to be when she's killed near the beginning of Planet Terror (part of Grindhouse, a flick which I loved: hey Weinstein Company, where the fuck is the full version of Grindhouse on DVD?), although she fronted in the press as if she was one of the goddamn stars of the movie.

I have a feeling that I already know how this review is going to end.

1. FERGALICIOUS (FEAT WILL.I.AM)
Not entirely terrible. Although the rapping is completely blah, Fergie at least stays on beat, a beat which is pretty engaging. I also like the way she turns the word "loco", but that's just me. However, I'd be willing to bet that none of the teenage girls that bought The Dutchess are even cognizant as to the existence of J.J. Fad's "Supersonic". I'd also like to see Nelly Furtado kick the shit out of Fergie for twisting the word "promiscuous" as if she were trying to start a rap beef with a non-rapper.

2. CLUMSY
I fucking hate this song. Several songs are stitched together into some sort of Franken-pop monster, and it fails on all counts: the worst offense would have to be the lift from Little Richard's "The Girl Can't Help It". So, of course, this shit was a huge hit.

3. ALL THAT I GOT (THE MAKE UP SONG) (FEAT WILL.I.AM)
Not my cup of tea. You won't like it either.

4. LONDON BRIDGE
I just realized that I have never heard the dirty version of this song until today. (It is possible that I was drunk in the club when it was played, but I can't confirm this.) It's kind of off-putting, to be honest, but it's still really funny that a lot of teenage girls bought an album with their daddy's money, in which the instrumental actually incorporates a sound bite of a guy shouting "Oh shit!". Polow Da Don's beat is kind of a monster, though, and I've witnessed firsthand how the women act in the club when this song comes on, including my wife, so I can't really hate it completely. A lot has been said about how a "London bridge" is actually some sort of deviant sex act: personally, I don't believe that Fergie is deep enough to have purposely named a song after that.

5. PEDESTAL
Sounds like a beat from some fake ass "collaborator" of Dr. Dre's. At least, it does for a while, until the beginning of Fergie Ferg's second verse. I can't remember anything overly objectionable about this song, but that's because I can't fucking remember it.

6. VOODOO DOLL
Meh.

7. GLAMOROUS (FEAT LUDACRIS)
Fergie took this track after Gwen Stefani passed on it, and left the Ludacris lyrics intact, even though he had originally recorded them for Stefani. Anything to make a buck, right? This was another of those "hit" singles whose appeal mystifies me, although I have to admit that it does sound better than "Clumsy". God, I hate that fucking song.

8. HERE I COME (FEAT WILL.I.AM)
This level of beat-jacking hasn't been seen since the heyday of Puff Daddy's Bad Boy empire. The Temptations must be rolling over in their collective grave.

9. VELVET
Sounds like a fake-ass Zero 7/Sia song. I'm almost positive that this song is probably a favorite of most of the teenage girls that picked up The Dutchess. Sorry, but this kind of song has been done better many times before. Nice try, though: I appreciate the attempt to branch out.

10. BIG GIRLS DON'T CRY
We're all doomed to hear this pumped into retail store radio stations for the rest of our goddamn lives.

11. MARY JANE SHOES (FEAT RITA MARLEY & THE I-THREES)
Leave it to a former crystal meth addict to write a song about her fucking shoes. (Is that comment too mean? Because I can do a lot worse.)

12. LOSING MY GROUND
In the history of pop music, this song will be seen as having no consequence whatsoever. But, in truth, it isn't bad.

13. FINALLY
This sounds like the type of plaintive ballad that the female lead would sing in a bad movie musical, possibly while staring at the moon, while a montage plays out a sequence featuring Fergie and Josh Duhamel acting playful and meeting cute. For what it is, it's alright, and John Legend does a decent job co-producing. The bonus song at the end of the track, allegedly called "Maybe We Can Take A Ride", is terrible, though.

THE LAST WORD: The Dutchess is a pop record all the way, and no amount of criticism I lay upon it will make one iota of difference in Fergie's record sales. I'll give it my best shot, though: it's not a very good album. Musically, it's all over the place, but the blatant use of samples make this sound oftentimes like a paint-by-numbers R&B record. There isn't much to recommend here: as a rapper, Fergie is serviceable (even though she sounds an awful lot like fellow Black Eyed Peas member will.i.am on more than a few bars), and as a singer, she's kind of annoying, although a couple of her songs do contain a positive message. All in all, I will never actually listen to this shit again, although I probably won't have a choice, since her songs are on the radio all the time. Oh, the things I suffer through just for the blog.

-Max

14 comments:

  1. Thank you for listening to this so we don't have to.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Phil Watts, Jr.August 31, 2008

    "Oh, the things I suffer through just for the blog."

    You should've just left this drink coaster alone. You were wasting your time. Anybody could've told you that.

    ReplyDelete
  3. yeah, mate. A pointless review. No-one reading this site doesn't care about Fergie.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Fergalicious proves that there is no god.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Had a feeling that review wasn't going to be pretty.

    But surely you're not out of female MCs already. What about Rage? Or Ja Rule?

    ReplyDelete
  6. Anybody who actually believes the inclusion of Fergie in this series was pointless isn't getting the subtext of the blog. Like it or not, Fergie is actually a female rapper, and the blog doesn't shy away from mainstream artists just because most bloggers choose to ignore them. (In this case, it makes complete sense why bloggers look the other way, but still.)

    Mostly I opted to write about Fergie (and, to a lesser extent, Lil' Kim) because I thought they would be funny. Remember the Yung Berg review? Did anybody that reads my blog seriously believe that I was going to find that disc to be a short chunk of brilliance? I just figured that the Fergie "album" would be an easy way to round out my week, because there is literally no thinking involved when you listen to that disc. Sometimes I pick albums because I think their inclusion will be hilarious, and sometimes I'm right, and sometimes I'm pleasantly surprised.

    ben - naah, there are still plenty of female rappers to go, and I'll be doing another one of these week-long series things soon. It's going to take a lot more for me to write about Ja Rule, though. Perhaps a week-long salute to bullshit?

    Thanks for reading!

    ReplyDelete
  7. why the hell would u do a review on fergie? shes not even hip hop,shes a pop rapper

    ReplyDelete
  8. what kind of real hip hop fan checks out an overrated female rapper like fergie??

    ReplyDelete
  9. What the hell is fergie doing on a hiphop blog anyway?

    ReplyDelete
  10. what kind of blogger are you?????

    ReplyDelete
  11. i understand the comedic value of this review but still no run dmc, public enemy, immortal technique

    ReplyDelete
  12. I can't believe you actually reviewed this!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Max, if you're mad over Glamorous just dig the instrumental. Open your ears I bet you feel one of the smoothest Polow beats and Polow was the beast in 07-08. Rich Boy's CD got more hot beats than any fucking album since 1997. k/

    And that's coming

    ReplyDelete