Fergie’s “A Little Work” Sums Up Everything Right & Wrong About ‘Double Dutchess’
After years of delays and the messiest rollout in recent history, Fergie’s Double Dutchess finally arrived on Friday (September 22). And it’s a lot better than I expected. The rap tracks (“Like It Ain’t Nuttin'” and “You Already Know,” for example) are fire and the accompanying visual album is surprisingly personal. However, as a whole, it just doesn’t have its finger on the pulse in the way that her solo debut, 2006’s iconic The Dutchess, did. The pros and cons of the hitmaker’s new era are summed up in her sprawling “A Little Work” video.
Let’s start with the song. “A Little Work” is a cute ballad with an uplifting message, but it sounds extremely dated and lacks the hooks to linger in the minder longer than its four minute running time. If it was supposed to be the “Big Girls Don’t Cry” of Double Dutchess, it fails miserably. On the other hand, it’s possibly the realest Fergie has ever been — opening up about her mental health and the pre-fame struggles she glossed over on the infinitely superior “Glamorous.” That state of affairs is also reflected in the video.
Jonas Åkerlund’s sprawling 11:30 minute visual would have made complete sense in 2009 or 2010 at the height of the more-is-more video revival spearheaded by Lady Gaga, but it seems like a relic at a time when budgets are non-existent and major artists are filming videos on cell phones. It also struggles to find the right tone, coming off as unintentionally hilarious during serious moments. However, it sure is interesting to look at and I applaud Fergie for keeping it so real in the documentary segments that appear throughout. It’s a lot to process (the battle scene took me out), but the video had my full attention from beginning to end.
I really hope Fergie sees the Double Dutchess era through to completion and then bounces back with new music sooner rather than later. It’s hard to disappear for a decade and still have a feel for what’s hot. Watch “A Little Work” up top.