Fergie – The Dutchess [Deluxe Edition]

September 11, 2010 at 8:11 PM | Posted in Fergie | Leave a comment

ALBUM REVIEW
Fergie – The Dutchess [Deluxe Edition]

1. Fergalicious (feat. will.i.am)
2. Clumsy
3. All That I Got (The Make Up Song) (feat. will.i.am)
4. London Bridge
5. Pedestal
6. Voodoo Doll
7. Glamorous (feat. Ludacris)
8. Here I Come
9. Velvet
10. Big Girls Don’t Cry
11. Mary Jane Shoes (feat. Rita Marley & The I-Threes)
12. Losing My Ground
13. Finally (feat. John Legend)
14. Barracuda
15. Party People (Nelly featuring Fergie)
16. Clumsy (Collipark Remix) (feat. Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em)
17. Labels Or Love

♦ ♦ ♦

The Dutchess is the debut album by American singer and Black Eyed Peas member Fergie, released on September 13, 2006. As of 2008, the album sold more than 6 million copies worldwide. Due to the success of the album, it was re-released with bonus tracks  and new covers in Japan, Australia in 2007 and later the United States  in 2008.

Fergalicious is that typical self-congratulatory, chaotic R&B/Hip-Hop track that blows your mind. It also features elements of Dance Pop, Funk and Electro and borrows samples from various songs, like “Supersonic” by J.J. Fad. I love the bass and beats in this track, and will.i.am actually adds more to this song (compared to the contemporary dull song ‘3 Words’ with Cheryl Cole). Could’ve been more though, but still it’s likeable for an album opener.

I like Clumsy a lot more though, especially since it has lyrics you can easily identify with. The brassy elements in the so-called B-section are very funky, and I even hear a bit of electonic influences in the verses. This whole song mixes contemporary music with vintage, due to a vintage microphone effect. Fergie’s spoken lines in the bridge are very cute, and her adlibbing in the last B-section is simply awesome, or groovy to say the least, haha.

All That I Got (The Make Up Song) (feat. will.i.am) brings some relaxing slowtempo beats and vulnerability. It seems to show a whole other side of Fergie because she sings so pretty and laid back in this track, and for once it’s not about how perfect she is. I love the lyrics in this song, and it displays Fergie’s wonderful vocal abilities I never knew she had. will.i.am’s parts in this song are much better than in Fergalicious.

180 with London Bridge, and the ‘Oh shit!’ lines crack me up everytime, OMG. This is a real Hip-Hop track, and Fergie eventually ends up rapping/singsong rapping most of the time, with in my opinion very cheesy vocals. It suits her, it really does, but (like another reviewer said): this is just Gwen Stefani’s “Hollaback Girl” slathered in puerile sexual raunch. And what’s with the British men at the end of the song???

Again, Fergie mixes contemporary music with a bit of vintage with Pedestal. The beat is very modern with a heavy bass and handclaps, but the strings in the introduction and bridge seem to have that bit of an old feeling all over. Fergie’s vocals aren’t very interesting, the most interesting part is her singing in a high altered voice on the tune of the British nursery rhyme of ‘London Bridge Is Falling Down’, but then it’s sung like ‘Your pedestal is falling down’. Actually pretty funny.

Speaking of vintage, here she mixes it with a kind of Hip-Hop/Reggae blend. Voodoo Doll is a rather interesting song indeed, but sometimes Fergie’s vocals just don’t sound natural to me, especially when she incorporates the Reaggae elements in her voice in the second verse. I like the beat and brassy elements in the chorus, but there all stops.

Glamorous (feat. Ludacris) is a very relaxing R&B song in which Fergie truly steps away from the cheesy party music and it could easily be a Janet Jackson track. Is that positive? Oh yes, you can say that. Ludacris lights up the song, and the line “If you ain’t got no money, take your broke ass home” still makes me laugh so hard. I like this song better than the previous, yet it still doesn’t pop out.

Okay, and now about Here I Come (feat. will.i.am)… What a b*tch of a song is this, really. The song may incorporate Dance Pop, Funk and Electronica elements as well as Hip-Hop, but how I hate Fergie’s rap lines and voice on this track. Sounds to me like she’s trying way too hard, again it doesn’t sound natural. The music is quite okay, and it’s funny she samples “Get Ready” by The Temptations, but she and will.i.am totally ruined it.

Fergie seems to like vintage elements in her songs, and Velvet is no exception. This is more like it, this is what I wanna hear from miss Ferguson (or Mrs. Duhamel, whatever :3). This track is very soothing, and can easily be played in a lounge club. Fergie finally adopts some great vocals in this song and it’s such a suprise after Here I Come. Should’ve known before that this track was so pretty.

Speaking of pretty tracks, Big Girls Don’t Cry just says it all… Fergie goes Pop and Soft Rock with this song, and I must say I really like this side of her, this vulnerability she’s showing again. The lyrics are fantastic, written by a genius and the music is very moving because the lovely string arrangement and acoustic guitars. For once, the beat isn’t that important. Definitly one of my favourite tracks.

Mary Jane Shoes (feat. Rita Marley & The I-Threes) isn’t a bad track either. On the contrary, I like some Reggae music with Fergie’s vocals (meaning: normal vocals and not the Reggae in them as well). Rita Marley and the I-Threes deliver great backing vocals and the whole song is very funny. After two and a half minutes Fergie goes all chaotic when the song gets more Hard Rock effects and a faaaaast tempo! Still, I like this song, how weird it may seem. (Also: Fergie’s adlibbing at the ending is very interesting too…)

Seems like Fergie heard my cries for some good music after the disaster of Here I Come. It’s that I already know that Losing My Ground is a song by Fergie, because if  I didn’t, I probably would’ve thought it was by somebody else. Vocally, she takes a huge step away from what she did before. The music is more Pop orientated with guitars, strings and a good portion of drama. She hits notes I never thought she could hit, so here is another track that’s actually appealing!

Ever since I heard Finally (feat. John Legend) for the first time, I fell in love with it. I fell in love with the beautiful piano arrangement by mister Legend himself, Fergie’s laid back and sophisticated vocals, the pretty lyrics and the lovely strings. The whole song stays pretty toned down, but it really fits. I doesn’t get boring at all (at a length of almost 5 minutes), this is another favourite track!

Barracuda is a cover of the 1977 Hard Rock song by rock band Heart, and Fergie surprised me with this whole other, edgier side of hers. She can actually SHOUT OUT her lyrics in a way it fits in with the genre! I remember hearing this song in the movie ‘Shrek The Third’, and now I hear it on her album for real and I quite like it! Makes me think of motorcycles… The Wild Hogs… Hells Angels??? *laughs*

And then, rather incredibly, a 180 twist from the Hard Rock back to pumping West coast Hip-Hop with Party People (feat. Nelly). Both Nelly and Fergie rap in this song, and for the first time Fergie actually appeals to me while rapping her lines. I’m not a big Hip-Hop lover, but sometimes, when I’m in the right mood, I love these tracks. The fast rapping lines in the bridge are my favourites, and I call this track my own guilty pleasure.

I love what Soulja Boy Tell ‘Em did to Clumsy (Collipark Remix). He added a bit more synths to the song and a whole other melody. I don’t know why, can only be one of my twisted thoughts, but the whistling-like sound throughout the song reminds me of the seven dwarfs… xD I love Soulja Boy’s rap, here’s a rapper who’s actually GOOD at what he’s doing. The original song is way better, but this one isn’t bad as well!

I instantly recognized Labels Or Love as the opening song to the Sex And The City movie (who doesn’t recognize the typical SATC melody throughout the song?). The song is nothing special, but to me it’s just pure fun! Nothing more to say about it: it’s simply fun (Gucci, Fendi, Pradaaaa, just give me them diamond rings! =D)

The Dutchess was a rather interesting album to say the least. I already knew every track, it’s just been a hell of a time since I last listened to them. It’s actually the first time I pulled my originally bought deluxe edition off the plank in my room, before I bought it I used to listen to another version of the album that I downloaded myself. I liked this version better because it had better extra tracks on it (okay, ‘Wake Up’ on the other version wasn’t bad at all…). Anyway, regardless. There were songs on this album I really hated to death, such as <em>Here I Come</em>, songs that bored the hell out of me (<em>Fergalicious, Pedestal)</em> and still a lot of songs that I liked or even loved! They overruled this album, thank God. So… discount or no discount (hehe), I’m quite proud of having purchased this lovely album.

Favorite tracks: All That I Got (The Make Up Song) (feat. will.i.am) | Velvet | Big Girls Don’t Cry | Mary Jane Shoes (feat. Rita Marley and the I-Threes) | Losing My Ground | Finally (feat. John Legend) | Party People (feat. Nelly) | Labels Or Love

OVERALL RATING

4 stars

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