We're in this musical climate where hip-hop is taking over and mixing with pop to the extent that Taylor Swift can release a rap song, so if anyone has the potential to really excel right now, it's Fergie.
She's always bridged the gap between pop and hip-hop so this seemed prime time for her to take over the industry, but now Double Dutchess, the follow-up to her hit debut album, is here, it's just not quite what I was waiting for.
After 11 years, I thought Fergie would've honed in on that Fergalicious/London Bridge sound, refined it, played with it a bit more, and at first Double Dutchess was exactly what I wanted.
Hungry is a moody statement of intent with a classic Fergie rap over a trap beat, featuring hip-hop heavyweight Rick Ross on a track about being hungry and ambitious.
Like It Ain't Nuttin' and You Already Know channel old school hip-hop; the former being a swag-filled brag-fest and the latter being a cool, funky track with a well-utilised Rob Base and DJ E-Z Rock sample complete with James Brown and Lyn Collins vocal samples and a killer feature from Nicki Minaj.
It was so, so promising. But then the rest of the album just falls short.
We go from old-school hip-hop to a heartbreak ballad. Then there's a song that sounds like something Fifth Harmony might sing, a Big Girls Don't Cry-esque ballad, something that sounds like 2000s era Kylie Minogue, and a totally out-of-place reggae track as well as her previously released - and not particularly well-favoured - tracks MILF $ and LA Love.
And it's not just that the tracks don't make any sense together as a whole and it's not even that they're particularly bad, it's just that when you take away the modern production, a lot of it sounds like 2006-era Fergie warmed up after 11 years, it shouldn't be too much to expect something fresher; for the vibe from the first few songs to last the distance.
Fergie has so much potential and undeniable talent, and this album has some really, really great tracks. But while no one's happier than I am to see Fergie make a solo comeback, I'm just not convinced she came back hard enough.
Fergie, Double Dutchess
Album: Double Dutchess
Label: Dutchess Music
Verdict: Fergie makes a strong start full of promise but doesn't last the distance.
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