September 19, 2006
All Hail The Dutchess!
Let's face it -- for the past few years, Black Eyed Peas have been totally Fergie-centric. With songs that embrace her sexiness ("My Humps") and love life ("Don't Phunk With My Heart"), the band has really embraced their frontwoman. But it was only a matter of time that Fergie struck out solo a la Gwen Stefani, and that time is now.
The Dutchess lets Fergie be the confident, assertive femme fatale she is (not like there was any question about that!). She campaigns for self-empowerment with laid-back groove, "All That I Got (The Make Up Song)" by asking, "Would you love me if I didn't work out or I didn't change my natural hair?" She questions all the haters out there (read: tabloids) in "Pedestal," by asking, "Who are you and what do you that makes you think you're above me but have you walked in my shoes?" and then declaring revenge ("The pedestal you put yourself on, but since I'm breaking it down now, it's gonna collapse and be gone"). She relishes her VIP-lifestyle in the Ludacris-guested "Glamourous," on which she thanks her fans (yes, you!) for giving her the fame and fortune that she so loves. And on first single, the grind-worthy "London Bridge," she stresses her a fun-loving ways. (Our favorite line is "Now I'm wishing that I didn't wear these shoes," 'cause what girl hasn't thought that!) Perhaps the most telling aspect of Fergie's personality is that most tracks are larger-than-life, just like the divalicious singer herself -- the opening song is even called "Fergalicious," if there was any doubt! Yes, Fergie is the shizznit, and she wants everyone to know it.
But the biggest surprise The Dutchess is last song, "Finally," where Fergie gets introspective and lets loose about her past troubles and dreams. This lullaby-like piano ditty lets Fergie shine without a trace of hip-hop, reggae, or rap, proving that she doesn't need sexual lyrics or synth-produced dance beats to show off her pipes.
Now, that's a royal concept!