May 22nd, 2022
A few nights ago I got the idea to listen to Fergie’s debut album The Dutchess. The singles have been a perennial soundtrack of my life since the album was released in 2006, occasionally popping up at a party or on my favorite Spotify playlist, Bimbo Bops (not made by me) as a welcome reminder of the existence and everlasting influence of the one and only Fergie. So, I figured it was time to see how well her debut album worked.
The album plays in a lot of different genres but manages to stay unified through a consistent production style. The production feels very 2006. If someone managed to avoid ever hearing Fergie somehow and first listened to one of these songs in 2022 they could probably guess it was from the aughts. I have a lot of nostalgia for this era of production and listening back with a more critical ear now it’s fun to hear the intricacies that went into each song on that end. That’s where this album shines. The production of every song feels planned and purposeful and works well to complement Fergie’s vocals.
Speaking of Fergie’s vocals, they’re good. She has a great range and great vocal control but more importantly, her voice just sounds good, she has a really nice tone that you can’t learn.
This gets me to the all-important questions:
Does it sound good? The answer is yes, the album is engineered from start to finish to sound good and it succeeds more than it fails.
Did I like it? Yes, I enjoyed the album, there were a few tracks that I didn’t care for as much as others (the closing track Finally as well as Voodoo Doll and Mary Jane Shoes) but I did enjoy listening to it.
Do I recommend it? Sort of. More than likely you’ve heard the big singles (Fergalicious, Clumsy, London Bridge, Glamorous, and Big Girls Don’t Cry). If you haven’t I recommend listening to those, particularly Fergalicious, London Bridge, and Glamorous. A couple of the deep cuts are good too, particularly Pedestal and Velvet.
The album is fun but doesn’t have a whole lot of depth past production and aesthetics. If you’re in the mood for something like that then give it a listen; put it on and dance around! My track recommendations are Fergalicious, London Bridge, Pedestal, Glamorous, and Velvet.