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Fergie - The Dutchess

Fergie

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Album Review

Through all the twists and turns taken by Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson during her 20-year career as an entertainer — including a stint on Kids Incorporated, background vocals for Martika, two albums with adult contemporary/dance-pop group Wild Orchid, and superstardom with Black Eyed Peas — she has always sounded as if she is trying really, really hard. That has been the lone consistent characteristic of her output, and it remains in effect throughout The Dutchess, an album with all the characteristics of a release fronted by someone who has been itching to go solo and prove herself, once and for all, as a versatile force all her own. Fergie does cartwheels and handstands, juggles three objects at once, balances books on her head, hangs upside down, rides a unicycle with her hands in the air — all these things while wearing different outfits. The whole process, produced mostly by fellow Pea will.i.am, is mildly entertaining. There's throwback hip-hop ("Fergalicious," done to the tune of J.J. Fad's "Supersonic"), throwback soul ("Here I Come," done to the tune of the Temptations' "Get Ready"), reggae ("Mary Jane Shoes"), ska-punk ("Mary Jane Shoes"), scat ("Mary Jane Shoes"), vaguely torchy midtempo fluff ("Velvet"), and a classy string-drenched ballad (the appropriately titled "Finally"), among several other passable switch-ups. "London Bridge" is terrific, provided you can block out the lyrics or prevent yourself from trying to decipher its meaning. One of the more convincing songs on the album, "Big Girls Don't Cry," sounds exactly like a 2006 version of Wild Orchid, with Fergie's Taylor Dayne kid-sister act in full effect. [A&M issued a bonus track edition in 2006 as well.]

Biography

Born: 27 March 1975 in Hacienda Heights, CA

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '80s, '00s, '10s

Like Martika, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Rahsaan Patterson, Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson got her first major break as a youngster on the television program Kids Incorporated. Born in 1975, she did voice work for The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show, as well as commercials, prior to becoming a Kids Incorporated regular from 1984 through 1989. Along with Stefanie Ridel and fellow Kids Incorporated alum Renee Ilene Sandstrom, Ferguson formed Wild Orchid, a teen pop group that released a pair of albums during...
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Fergie - The Dutchess, Fergie
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