For her long-imprisoned album The Double Dutchess: Seeing Double, which premiered in a theater, Fergie has given us a a series of music videos packaged as a “visual experience.” As in, this is a body of work you’ll be able to experience through the power of sight.
Conceptually, Fergie admitted to being inspired by Beyoncé’s Lemonade album. However, several key elements are missing in comparison. The videos, for one, lack the cohesion needed to qualify as a genuine visual album. What is this experience about? Here I am, willing to watch all 13 videos for you and rank them in order, from bad to fine.
This very long video (over 11 minutes) serves as the centerpiece of Fergie’s visual experience, with occasional narration from Fergie about her past crystal meth addiction and rehab, a tragic story with an inspiring resolution. Fergie told Oprah in a 2012 interview, “I started getting really paranoid. So I went one day into this church and I thought that the FBI and the SWAT teams were outside the church... so I had a conversation with God.”
Here, she presents a dramatized depiction of her past struggles. Points for her attempt at creativity. Unfortunately, the hammy psych-ward visuals and Fergie’s reenactments kinda ruin the song’s serious, empowerment-ballad vibes. I’m not sure many people want to hear her talking for so long, no offense? Also, the video is too long and literally never ends?
A bunch of Boomerang vignettes of Kendall Jenner in various settings do not impress me. The dizzying visual effect and whispery baby-voice chorus, together, seem intentionally torturous.
’Member this? “Motherfucker,” Fergie scream-sings. “I’m ill.” You can tell this video (released last year) was made with gifs in mind, under the empowerment umbrella, with cameos from Kim Kardashian, Ciara and Chrissy Teigen. This could’ve been a cool pop culture moment rather than a kitschy throwaway.
The video for Fergie’s trop song about fatal attraction stars a murderous, stop-motion, revenge Barbie/Fergie, first seen lounging near a pool. I can’t make this up—she decapitates Ken with a beach umbrella. She also decapitates a black Ken. It’s disturbing and playful, I get it. It’s just ODD for Fergie. Would make better sense for a theatrical artist like Nicki Minaj or Katy Perry.
All of these songs sound unconnected and most of the videos have a performance art element that feels overshot. They also seem like they were made with a different artist in mind. In this case, Lady Gaga or Sia. Fergie sings from behind a white veil, there’s interpretative dancing, and I’m dying inside.
I haven’t figured out an explanation for the Transformers-esque robot that keeps popping up in this video for her grating homage to old school rap boasting.
To give you an idea just how long Fergie’s album has been brewing, this video was released nearly three years ago, when Jezebel described it as an “ode to wackness,” in the form of a hodgepodge of borrowed cultural imagery.
Crowd shots and pretty music festival people posing—this is where the budget went dry.
Why does Fergie look like Faith Hill?
At this point in the ranking, the videos have begun to resemble the standard, un-stimulating product-placement music videos we’re accustomed to. While the Malibu freeway and bonfire aesthetic would normally bore me, this treatment is tame and tolerable in context of everything else.
Visually, it’s fine. Lyrically, it sounds like a crumb of a leftover from Jay Z’s Magna Carta Holy Grail. Does not make me hungry.
Fergie has now transformed into Madonna and gyrates against geometric backdrops while Nicki Minaj collects a check. The cool house vibe draws me in just as Fergie’s rapping rips me back out. Admirably, Fergie does an impressive split-twerk, if that is really her.
This video, which stars a love interest ripped from a cologne ad, may be the most conventional in terms of sticking to the template of a non-green-screened music video with a storyline. Tonally, it’s the least exaggerated, least try-hard video in the set and maybe that’s okay for Fergie.