By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Stacy "Fergie" Ferguson is a hot, eager and totally empty vessel. On The Dutchess, she displays an affinity for the sort of mainstream pop that would put most Black Eyed Peas fans to sleep faster than a Blizzard with Tylenol PM sprinkles--but if acting like a hip-hop ho enhances her fame, she'll do that too.
It's no surprise that "London Bridge" is already a hit. Who couldn't have guessed that horny boys would dig a song that repeatedly uses the phrase "goin' down"? "Fergalicious," in which top Pea will.i.am swipes the melody from J.J. Fad's "Supersonic," is likely to score as well. But thanks to a botched "The Girl Can't Help It" sample, "Clumsy" most certainly is--and the disc's final section collapses in a steaming pile of banality. Fergie seems comfortable crooning modified sambas ("Velvet"), drippy weepers ("Big Girls Don't Cry") and Paris Hilton-style reggae numbers ("Mary Jane Shoes"), but that doesn't make the ditties any more tolerable. Radio programmers think parts of this disc taste great. But the majority of it is less filling.
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