It might come as a surprise to learn that up until last fall, Fergie had only released one solo album, The Dutchess, which contained pretty well all her hits from 10 years ago. Her followup album has been in the works for years now with a few false starts since 2014 when L.A. Love dropped. Two years later came M.I.L.F.$ and Life Goes On, both indicating an album was on the way that never surfaced. Then last summer her collaboration with Nicki Minaj, You Already Know, finally led to a confirmed album that, upon its release in September, was pretty much doa. An unfortunate fate for an album that, in another time with proper planning and no backtracking, would have worked.
Double Dutchess sounds like a fair blend of what was trendy between 2013-2016 in pop, hip-hop, and tropical dance. For what she does with it, Fergie hits the right notes in her mishmash of songs that, on their own, work for what they are. She’s versatile, even if much of the material on here isn’t up to par with her capabilities. Someone willing to do a song as ridiculous as M.I.L.F.$ and own it deserves to be commended, especially when she’s able to follow it up with a throwback in the form of an updated Big Girls Don’t Cry with Save It Til Morning. She still has the chops and the nostalgia is real.
The biggest obstacle faced by Fergie and the album is that her audience has more or less long moved on, combined with the feeling that the album plays out more like an afterthought of ‘we made it this far, let’s just get it out and be done with it.’ Of course it’s going nowhere, but Double Dutchess works surprisingly well. One of the better pop albums to come out of 2017.
1. Hungry [featuring Rick Ross]
2. Like It Ain’t Nuttin’
3. You Already Know [featuring Nicki Minaj]
4. Just Like You
5. A Little Work
6. Life Goes On
8. Save It Til Morning
9. Enchanté (Carine) [featuring Axl Jack]
11. L.A. Love (La La) [featuring YG]
12. Love Is Blind
13. Love Is Pain