(Released September 22nd, 2017)
It’s been over a decade since Fergie blessed the pop world with her first solo album “The Dutchess.” The album spawned undeniable hits like “Fergalicious,” “Glamorous,” “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” “London Bridge,” and my personal favorite “All That I Got.” Needless to say it, almost effortlessly, proved that she could stand on her own two feet outside of The Black Eyed Peas. But, will she be able to make lightning strike twice?
Rumors about a new album initially started making its way around the Internet with the release of Fergie’s first single “L.A. Love (La La)” back in October of 2014. The song is produced by DJ Mustard, features rapper YG and in all honesty is pretty basic overall. Fergie channels her best Pitbull impressions and insists on naming different Cities, States, and Countries throughout the track and I’m still confused on what the song is actually about but it does have the appeal to be played in multiple commercials so I guess it has a purpose. That commercial appeal ends up being present throughout the album in the most unfortunate ways.
“Like It Ain’t Nuttin” and “You Already Know” are prime examples of what a Forever 21 or H&M soundtrack would sound like. I feel like I’m supposed to like these songs, both are produced by Will.i.am and production wise instead of them being terrible they’re just rather generic. The Lyn Collins sample on “You Already Know” is a nice touch but the most interesting thing about the song is the final two minutes; the track is slowed down to a more seductive vibe that makes me wish there was a full version floating around somewhere.
The majority of the remaining songs heavily lean towards mediocrity and lackluster. “Enchanté,” “Tension,” and “Love Is Blind” left me thinking “what am I hearing?” The main culprit being “Love Is Blind” – Eve told us to “elevate and find” clearly Fergie wasn’t listening. The song sports a Caribbean sound and at some point she says “Cook you breakfast in my birthday suit, when you’re sick I’ll cook you chicken soup” and I completely stopped listening after that.
“A Little Work” and “Life Goes On” are, again, quite generic. Although they both have very positive messages there isn’t anything distinctive about them; they could literally be sung by any other pop start the same exact way and ultimately have the same outcome. The album closer “Love Is Pain” was by far the most cringe-worthy song on the entire album to me. The lyrics are good, the beat is okay but it’s an entire vocal disaster that’s almost unexplainable. I wouldn’t describe Fergie as a vocalist – there are several questionable vocal performances on the album – but I’m sure she could’ve delivered much better than what she did. About two minutes into the song she resorts to just screaming in an attempt to emote pain but instead made the track unbearable.
However, I did find a few songs to be rather enjoyable. “Save It Til Morning” is a cute little ballad, the same goes for “Just Like You.” I found myself regretfully nodding to the album opener “Hungry” and “M.I.L.F. $.” Both have knocking beats and Fergie flexes her rapping chops on them, the bars are nothing to be crazy about but they suit the songs well.
Overall, Double Dutchess is a dud. If you decide to give the album a listen you might come away with a few tracks to maybe add to a playlist but that’s about it. If you decide to skip the album altogether, you won’t be missing out on anything. it’s seemingly a sequel to The Dutchess so it’s impossible to not compare the two albums to each other. Even though Fergie’s 2006 effort wasn’t amazing as a total body of work, it was able to churn out a handful of unforgettable singles; the same can’t be said for Double Dutchess. It took about three years for this album to be released and honestly, Fergie would’ve been better off pulling a one and done while letting The Dutchess be her first and only solo album.