Return of The Dutchess…

27 11 2014

The Cali native formerly known as Stacy Ann Ferguson has dropped a new single, and it’s as sun-baked and carefree as you’d expect from the sultry voice on every other party anthem of the 2000s.

Robbie Daw for Idolator observes, “The DJ Mustard-produced track finds the 39-year-old Black Eyed Peas diva surprisingly stuck in creative rut, spouting out a slew of hip-hop-lite cliches that, to be honest, we would have expected her to have left behind sometime around The E.N.D. ”

Fergie Ferg is so much better when she actually SINGS! I have always been confused as to why they make her talk over these club beats, or trot her out for a looped and dreamy hook. It’s like didn’t know what he H. A. D. in his arsenal. I discussed this, at length, in a blog post almost four years ago… I’m starting to feel like Fergie’s leading me on.

As I’ve pointed out before, this long-awaited sophomore album can serve as second act for the former Black Eyed Pea and the sky’s the limit if only she would give existing fans a bone. (We’re here and we’re waiting! Reward us! Give us something we can share with friends and proudly say “I told you so!”)  I’ve literally been watching this woman sing her way to deserved stardom since a little known 90s girl band (Wild Orchid) hosted a fun but forgettable Saturday morning talent show (Great Pretenders).

This “LA Love” stuff is OK for radio buzz, but give me those love-hardened, crushed velvet pipes on a power ballad ala “Big Girls Don’t Cry” any day. The Dutchess is approaching 40, and she still got it, but she needs to start owning it. “LA Love” isn’t as fun as “Fergalicious” or “Clumsy,” and certainly lacks the confident sass of “Glamourous” and “Pedestal.” It’s an empty spectacle, not a hit.

At least her husband seems proud of her-- Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie's live performance of the track. 

At least her husband seems proud of her– Josh Duhamel was kind enough to appear at the American Music Awards last Sunday to introduce Fergie’s live performance of the track.


BEP Disappoints NYC

11 06 2011

I got a feeling… that your fans won’t forget this!

The Black Eyed Peas were set to play Central Park on Thursday night, only to cancel minutes after fans were allowed onto the Great Lawn.  The show had been delayed for thunderstorms, but was eventually called off three hours after it was supposed to start.

Although the Peas have underwhelmed as of late (notably as the tedious half-time show at this year’s Superbowl), 60,000 people were expected at the benefit performance.
Tween crossover sensation Taylor Swift, British import Natasha Bedingfield, classic crooner Tony Bennett and folk favorite Carole King were among several guests set to share the stage.

Some of the 20,000 concertgoers had stood in line through 6 hours of high temps (Manhattan peaked at 94 degrees yesterday afternoon) and tremendous rains in the evening.

Thursday night BEP and anti-BEP tweets began trending on social network Twitter, with fans communicating the status of the show’s start as well as their frustration in the wake of its cancellation. (Think about it: Hailing a cab on the West Side in normal conditions is difficult!)  Fans also reportedly chanted “We Won’t Go!” after authorities forced them out of the area.

The Robin Hood Foundation, a 22-year-old philanthropic organization based in NYC, was to benefit from the show. On their website, said only “We are sad to announce that the Concert 4 NYC has been cancelled due to inclement weather. Thank you for your support.”

No “rain date” (pun intended) has been announced.

I Miss When Fergie Used to Sing.

3 03 2011

Before she pierced her eyebrow, bathed in self  tanner, met Will.I.Am, or married the guy from “Las Vegas”   …Fergie sang.

Born in a Los Angeles suburb in 1975, Stacy Ann Ferguson was drawn to the lights of fame by the time she was 10.

Ferguson lent her voice to the television Penauts specials, “It’s Flashbeagle, Charlie Brown” and “Snoopy’s Getting Married, Charlie Brown;” as well as several episodes of The Charlie Brown and Snoopy Show.

Beginning in the mid-1980s, Ferguson appeared on Disney’s Kids Incorporated- where she met future bandmate Renee Sandstrom.  

In 1991, Ferguson and Sandstrom formed the girl group Wild Orchid with fellow childstar and California girl Stefanie Ridel.

The band split by 2001, after recording four albums, touring with Cher and Cyndi Lauper, and hosting a popular Saturday morning competition show “Great Pretenders” on Fox Family.

Ferguson has admitted to having developed a severe crystal meth habit while in Wild Orchid, an addiction that she had to overcome after the group broke up. She told TIME magazine in 2006, “It was the hardest boyfriend I ever had to break up with.”

Also in 2001 Fergie was introduced to the Black Eyed Peas, a trio of male performers, Will.I.Am, APL.D.AP, and Taboo. Fergie was included on several tracks from the BEP’s third album, “Elephunk,” which was released in 2003.

Sometimes Fergie whips out a pretty sweet high note, or a great soulful run, but for the most part she is underwhelming, or drowned out by the attention-seeking boys club that is the Black Eyed Peas.


OK, so where did the disconnect happen?

I watched “Great Pretenders,” faithfully, every Saturday- and I have been continually disappointed with the “singing” parts Fergie gets on BEP tracks. She’s really just talking to a beat- which essentially is rapping, with less style.

When she released her solo album, The Dutchess, in 2006, I had hopes that she would be done with bouncing around with Will and the boys… although Will.I.Am did serve as producer and appeared on three tracks.

Her single “Big Girl’s Don’t Cry” is the only time in the last decade I have been impressed, reminded that her former high-note belting, riff-riding, smooth as honey voice is still there— BEP has just not properly showcased it.  Her shit is catchy, don’t get me wrong, but she has done more pseudo-rapping and sing-talking than actual singing since leaving Wild Orchid.

I wish she would lay low for a while, maybe have a kid with Josh Duhamel, and then come back with some seriously original music– she could be like Britney Spears, Sarah McLachlan, Gwen Stefani or Nelly Furtado; all of whom took a break, for family or just for their sanity, and came back to more success than before.

Girlfriend, please oh please take a moment to reevaluate yourself!

Reinvent if you want, explore your voice and the sounds that attract you, but be aware you will never be a Whitney or a Celine if you keep allowing Will.I.Am to be your puppetmaster.