‘Double Dutchess’ Album Review: Fergie Never Left

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With first hints back in 2016, Fergie decided to continue her comeback into solo work and announced she’d be working on another album. Amidst the rumors (not true!) that she was leaving the Black Eyed Peas, Fergie released work for soundtracks, the mothers of the world, and everyone in the California/Bay Area. However, as pop music is concerned, it’s a lie to say no one wasn’t eager for music just as appealing as her solo debut back in 2006. Released on September 22, 2017, Double Dutchess is a work executive-produced by Fergie, eleven years since The Dutchess’ critical acclaim, after her news of separation from actor Josh Duhamel and new imprint Dutchess Music with BMG. With plans of more visuals for each song, here are some memorable tracks on the album.

Double Dutchess: The Tracks

Hungry (feat. Rick Ross) – The beat is quite interesting! I honestly thought my sound was glitching for a few minutes. However, the grand opening of the vocal sampling reduces to impatience as the two artists geared up to ride the beat. Fergie’s rapping wasn’t needed; however, Ross’ feature (although perhaps phoning it in? “I moonwalking on marble floors, Rick Ross, I’m just dripping sauce”) was enough to compliment Fergie’s hook and assertion that both have the means and passion to obtain all that makes us vs. them. To my disappointment, the song was over quicker than it started, but it was a very interesting opening track.

Like it Aint Nuttin’ – I appreciate the old-school vibes in Fergie’s flow and the modern instrumental. Fergie has an ability to make the simplest things sound quite animated and fun. This is a track that, although a bit repetitive, is entertaining (“Whatcha you gon do when I step in the place / betcha everybody gone rock to the bass / I get money all day baby like it aint nuttin’”) to include in any moment to laugh at the lyrics (“ladies rub on your boobies”??) or just blast through your speakers.

You Already Know (feat. Nicki Minaj) – We’ve got the old school vibes again, from Fergie’s vocals (her singing gives ’90s techno), the synth, and the “It Takes Two” and “You Already Know” samples. Unsurprisingly, will.i.am also had a hand in this track, who, with the Black Eyed Peas (and his own solo work), still rock elements of artists of their day but their own twist on it. After Nicki takes her turn on this multidimensional track, it turns from ’80s rap to techno to pure drums and soft jazz for the interlude. I’d consider the latter part of the song the third part, and wish it were longer. In this section, we had elements of Roger, as well as Fergie’s distinct sensual vocals.

Just Like You – This song feature trap and vocals right from the start. The production evokes an early 2010s vibe, but nonetheless is still appealing. Collaborators Youngblood (Chris Brown’s “Fine China” and “Autumn Leaves”) and Taylor Parks (former child actress, Mariah Carey’s “Infinity” and Fifth Harmony’s “Boss”), combine their writing skills here. Fergie speaks of a relationship and dinner setting gone to waste. The lyrics are memorable in phrases like “Who is this right here / she don’t look like me. / I’ve been sleeping with a demon, every night in my bedroom.” I appreciate the vocals and production in this song, but nothing stands out too much, except when Fergie sings: “Oops, look what you made me prove / I’m crazy just like you.”

A Little Work – The beginning starts to build (almost sounding like Coldplay’s “Fix You”) and Fergie pushes into the chorus by breaking into an age-old truth: “We’ve all got wounds half-open / We all can use a little work.” She creates a story of various people who have to work and “rise up into the Call,” and try to do the best despite our circumstances. This track is simple, but the hums and harmonies allow for a song grander than it seemed. With heavy hitters like Dr. Luke, Thomas Gad (co-writer for Fergie’s “Big Girls Don’t Cry,” and George Pajon (a key figure pop and in BEP’s discography), it’s no surprise.

Life Goes On – Acoustic and Fergie go well together. The melody structure in each verse is highly addicting.  Then, the chorus breaks into moombahton to my slight dismay, but I still very much enjoy this song. This is a carefree song in both structure and lyrics. We have Fergie showing that she can do a little something during the rap bridge (for some reason I’m getting Left Eye vibes for just one second), and instrumentation of all the guitars and the drums gives us ska. Then, the switch-up slowly returns to the techno-based chorus, bringing it all full circle. All with a small acoustic fade out. It’s a decent track.

M.I.L.F $ – This is controversial in both song title and with a video that had sensible folks clutching their pearls. This isn’t my favorite track simply because of various elements that are entertaining to listen to (the verses, the underlying bass) and just too confusing to listen to. I try to pretend this song isn’t real.

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