If you thought Black Eyed Pea-sized bites of Fergie might be all you could handle--that a full plate of Fergie is possibly too much for any discerning musical palate--The Dutchess might change your mind. For here the lumpen lady throws caution to the wind and threads her pop needle with an ambitious ribbon of yet-to-be-conquered genres: reggae and ska on "Mary Jane Shoes," with Rita Marley; vintage soul on "Here I Come"; '80s hip-hop on "Fergalicious"; and sophisticated R&B on the John Legend-assisted "Finally." It's a tremendous and unpredictable expenditure of effort that mostly pays off--echoes of more talented vocalists like Pink, Beyoncé, and Christina Aguilera poke through in places. But while unbridled messing about can pay handsome artistic dividends (here, the guitar-propelled rock-like track "Big Girls Don't Cry" coughs them up), ultimately it's when Fergie's at her Peas-iest that she's most lovable; cases in point are the raunchily irresistible "London Bridge," which earned every week of its chart-topping success, and the will.i.am-assisted "Clumsy," a girl-group-styled bump-a-thon that showcases Fergie's coolest and most distinctive asset--her personality--to winning effect. --Tammy La Gorce
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Fergie Fans will not be dissappointed!, February 8, 2008
By The Dutch Master Ben
Everything you would expect from her Royal Fergie can be found in this album.
There is nothing too deep or over your head. Club bangers a la MIA and some love
ballads sprinkled here and there to round off the impressive album from the
first lady of BEP.