At last I come to the end of the series on my top 110 music artists of the past four years. In the top spot on my personal Last.fm overall track chart is an artist whose unreleased album is my #1 most played album, and whose music I’ve played on the average of 20 tracks per week, just under 3 tracks every day.
#1: Fefe Dobson
Fefe Dobson sprang onto the music scene in 2003 at the age of 18, with her self-titled debut studio album. Some people tried to force her into certain musical categories because of her age and the color of her skin, but Fefe is a rocker, not a teen pop artist or an R&B crooner. When I first saw her perform on Jay Leno’s late night talk show, I couldn’t believe her rocking energy, but I liked it so much, I was at the music store the next day, looking for her CD. I’ve been a fan ever since.
Fefe’s debut album reached #67 on the Billboard Top 200, spending a respectable 17 weeks on the chart. It spawned a single that reached #27 on the US Pop songs chart, and #87 on the US Hot 100, the only one of her singles so far to place on the Hot 100. Fefe co-wrote the song, as she did all of the tracks on the album. The song has a pop flavor but a rock vibe, making it, well, a pop-rock song. This is my favorite single from the album.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Take Me Away
Prior to releasing Take Me Away, Fefe had released a single in her home country of Canada. The single charted at #8 on the Canadian singles chart.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Bye Bye Boyfriend
After Take Me Away, Fefe released another single from her debut album, and this one charted in the UK at #42. It also ranked at #39 on the US Pop Songs chart.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Everything
Some versions of Fefe’s debut album carried bonus tracks, but the version of the CD I initially bought did not have them. Wikipedia claims that Fefe’s fourth single was from later pressings of the album, though I can’t verify that. I did manage to get a digital copy of the single and the other bonus track, Don’t Let Me Fall, from somewhere; I don’t recall where now. The bonus track single peaked at #10 on the Canadian singles chart. This is my favorite video for any of the singles from Fefe’s debut album.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Don’t Go (Girls and Boys)
My very favorite track from Fefe’s debut album was not released as a single. She had a little help from Tone Lōc on this track, which isn’t the only reason why it’s my favorite, but it doesn’t hurt. I do enjoy his low bass vocals punctuating Fefe’s high energy vocals.
Album Art w/Audio: Fefe Dobson – Rock It Till You Drop It
After the moderate success of Fefe’s debut album, she began work on a second studio album, Sunday Love. The release date for the album was set for late 2005, then was pushed back to early 2006, then mid 2006, then late 2006, and then Island Def Jam dropped Fefe entirely, thus shelving the album. A couple of singles from the album had been released, and they both failed to chart, and the lack of the lead singles to chart pretty much spells death to any major label album release. I’d heard several of the songs from the album, and if it had been my choice, I’d have picked different songs to be released as singles, but the major labels get a particular picture in their head of what an artist is supposed to be, and they push the singles that reinforce that picture. This Is My Life obviously supported the label’s image of Fefe better than the more heavily angst-driven tracks from the album. I still think they should have released this song as a single—it’s a blend of angst and humor, a combination that doesn’t come along every day:
Lyrics w/Audio: Fefe Dobson – If I Was a Guy
Before the album was shelved, the record label distributed a few copies of a Sunday Love Sampler to select members of the music industry, in anticipation of the album release. There were at least two versions of this sampler, one with eight full-length tracks, and another with eight snippets. I have a physical copy of each of these two sampler CDs, having won auctions for them on eBay. I got lucky with my purchases, as I noticed the samplers with full-length tracks were selling in excess of $100. I bought mine for substantially less than that, though I had to pass on several auctions before I finally won one at a decent price.
After the album was shelved, someone got their hands on a copy of the full-length CD, and put it up for auction on eBay. This CD had all of the full-length songs slated for release, and sold for roughly $1000. I would have liked to have that CD, but that price was too much for me to plunk down, even being the fanatic follower of Fefe Dobson that I felt I was. The buyer, however, with the help of a person who ran a Fefe fan site, ripped the songs from the CD and made them available on the internet. Fefe has often been quoted as saying about the leaked album:
My real good fans, my hardcore fans, have it, so that’s most important. At least it got out there to a few hands, and now it’s time to make a record on my own terms.
I’m glad she’s okay with the album having leaked. I just wish it had been actually released, because I still want a copy of the full-length Sunday Love CD.
Sunday Love, if you include the plays from the leaked album and the sampler with full-length tracks, is my #1 most played album of the past four years. I won’t say that it’s my favorite album of all time, because I’m not sure which album should bear that title, as there have been many great albums released over the decades. But it’s definitely among my top 10 albums of all time. My favorite, favorite track from the album and most played Fefe Dobson track was not released as a single. It is my #3 most played track overall, beat out only by Demi Lovato’s Get Back and Rihanna’s Shut Up and Drive.
I feel you stepping on my wings.
Get off of my back.
Image w/Lyrics and Audio: Fefe Dobson – Get You Off
Of the singles that were released from Sunday Love, only one had a music video made for it, but it’s a great, amusing video, and is one of my favorite music videos of all time. I just love how Fefe can be so serious yet so tongue-in-cheek at the same time.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Don’t Let It Go To Your Head
Since Sunday Love was never released, most people haven’t heard the majority of the songs from it, and wouldn’t know what to look for if they did want to listen to them. One industrious soul has put the leaked tracks up on YouTube, so I’m going to embed here a few more of my favorite tracks from the album, and hope that the videos stay up on YouTube for a good long while.
This song is perhaps more pop punk than pop rock; I love the beat.
Image w/Lyrics and Audio: Fefe Dobson – Miss Vicious
With this next song, Fefe was most likely moving far away from the sort of image her label wanted for her. This song was not included on the Sunday Love Sampler CD (neither was Miss Vicious).
Image w/Lyrics and Audio: Fefe Dobson – The Initiator
Selena Gomez recorded a version of this next song. I like Fefe’s version better, but it’s cool that the song was included on an album that actually was released, even if it wasn’t an album by Fefe.
Static Image w/Audio: Fefe Dobson – As a Blonde
I was so upset when Sunday Love was shelved. I’m still upset about it, truth be told. But Fefe didn’t let the situation keep her down. She went on to record another album, Joy, which officially is her second studio album, but I can only think of it as her third studio album, after Sunday Love. Somehow, Fefe ended up again with the same major label that had dropped her and shelved Sunday Love, and I could only shake my head in bewilderment at Fefe’s decision to get back in bed with such snakes.
When the first two singles from Joy were released and failed to chart, I just knew history would repeat itself. But Fefe was working the internet and social media, and focused only on the Canadian market. Her third single from Joy reached #14 on the Canadian singles chart, and spent 27 weeks on the chart. This is my #2 most played Fefe Dobson track, and my #4 most played track overall.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Ghost
The next single performed even better than Ghost, reaching #10 on the Canadian singles chart. It also reached #39 on the US Pop songs chart. It didn’t chart on the US Hot 100, but at least it placed on some charts, as had Ghost, and so the label decided to release the album. I was so happy. It was released in the US on November 30, 2010, and I purchased the digital download on November 29, 2010—I couldn’t wait. I know, an older guy like me, acting like a fanboy. I couldn’t help it. I sense in Fefe a touch of the eccentric, which she gradually reveals through her music, a bit in this song, a bit in that song. She rocks, and while she’s at it, throws in some pop and punk.
Fefe is a creative genius, and I’m not st-st-stuttering.
Video: Fefe Dobson – Stuttering
The above video for Stuttering won the UR Fave Video Award at the 2011 MuchMusic Video Awards in Toronto, Canada. (I voted for it.) Way to go, Fefe!
Thirty tracks by Fefe Dobson are among my overall top 500 tracks, and I’ve only mentioned a few of them here. I encourage you to check out her other music, most of which can be found on YouTube, even the unreleased tracks from Sunday Love. If you want to know more song titles, let me know in the comments below, and I’ll happily oblige.
Thanks for visiting!
More Fefe Dobson Info
- Official Site for Fefe Dobson
- Wikipedia page for Fefe Dobson
- Billboard.com page for Fefe Dobson
- Last.fm page for Fefe Dobson