Fefe Dobson

FefeDobson-01AFefe Dobson is a Canadian solo pop/rock singer/songwriter from Sarborough, Ontario, born Felicia Dobson on February 28, 1985. Dobson, who is mixed, was signed early on by Jive Records who wanted to develop her as a pop/R&B singer because of her race. But, she wanted to be a rock musician, so she refused. She cites Kurt Cobain, Jeff Buckley, Coldplay, and The HivesCom.EastP.FeFe_106  023 as influences, and listens to the Ramones, The Sex Pistols and My Chemical Romance! Eventually, she signed with Island/Def Jam and her successful self-titled debut was released in 2003, when she was 18. In 2006, Dobson finished recording her second album, Sunday Love, but, Island/Def Jam dropped her soon after, and the disc was shelved. It was eventually released digitally in 2012. Dobson started to work on her third album, Joy, on her own, but, was later re-signed by Island/Def Jam, who released the album in 2010, after nearly four years. Fefe Dobson, to date, has released three albums, ten singles (all with videos), and her songs have been used in numerous films, TV series, ads, promos, etc, as well as covered by other artists. Dobson has also made several appearances in film and on TV, including appearing and performing as Tina Turner on the short-lived NBC TV series, American Dreams (2002-05). Finally, on August 6, 2013, “Legacy”, the first single from her upcoming fourth album was released.

FefeDobson-03DFefe Dobson (2003), with its catchy pop/rock and sometimes punky pop, is a cool response to the misguided intentions of Jive Records. Three singles were released: “Bye Bye Boyfriend”, “Take Me Away” and “Everything”.FefeDobson-09 A non-album fourth single, “Don’t Go (Girls and Boys)”, was released in 2004, featured in a Tommy Hilfiger commercial starring Dobson, and included on later editions of the release. The singles, and “Kiss Me Fool”, are pop/rockers, but the album is a fairly eclectic mix. “Stupid Little Love Song” is pop/punk, “Unforgiven” is darker alternative rock, “Give It Up” is rapcore-ish, and “Rock It Till You Drop It” (featuring rapper Tone Lōc) is dance rock. But, my favorite tracks are the Counting Crows-ish “Revolution Song” and the Beatles-esque (or Oasis-esque, depending on your perspective) piano ballad “8 x 10”. The cool non-album track, “If You Walk Away”, was featured on the soundtrack to the 2004 movie Raising Helen.

FefeDobson-06DFefe Dobson’s second studio to be released, Joy (2010), took almost four years to complete, and her exhaustive frustration is obvious in the album’s cover art. Two digital singles preceeded the release: “Watch Me Move” (co-written with Andrea Wasse of The Weekend) and “I Want You” (whose riff is a nod to The Who‘s “My Generation”).FefeDobson-11 Both songs are excellent Vines-inspired garage rockers. The latter was over-used in all of the trailers for actress Drew Barrymore‘s directorial debut Whip It (2009). Three official singles were also released: “Ghost”, “Stuttering” and “Can’t Breathe” (featuring Orianthi on guitar). “Stuttering”, Dobson’s most popular song, is very R&B-ish. Some even argue that Dobson sounds a little like Rhianna, or vice versa, but the debate is pointless since Fefe Dobson, despite more dance beats on Joy, is a rock chick and Rhianna is an R&B diva. Other cool tracks include the ’70s-ish rocker “I’m A Lady” (also co-written by Andrea Wasse), the soulful near-country ballad “In Your Touch”, and the bouncy ’60s-esque title track. “I Made Out With Your Boyfriend”, an iTunes bonus track, is another Vines-inspired garage rocker, and “Rockstar”, another bonus track, is a P!nk-esque dance rocker.

Watch the videos for “I Want You” and “Watch Me Move” here:


And, watch the videos for “Stuttering” and “Can’t Breathe” here:


OK, Sunday Love was released digitally on December 18, 2012, but, was completed in 2006. Two excellent singles were released, in 2006, to promote the ill-fated release: “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” and “This Is My Life”. Neither song charted, but, the former was, subsequently, covered by several other artists including Norwegian girl band Lilyjets and, most notably, pop/R&B singer Jordin Sparks (on her 2009 album Battlefield). The rest of Sunday Love is pretty awesome!FefeDobson-10 I think Island/Def Jam dropped Dobson and shelved this disc, initially, because she gave them an alternative rock record with a dash of angsty punk when they wanted more radio-friendly pop/rock. Joy, apparently, was a compromise. Dobson co-wrote songs with some of my favorite female rockers like Nina Gordon (ex-Veruca Salt), Kay Hanley (ex-Letters To Cleo), Courtney Love, and, even, Joan Jett. In an interview, Dobson said that she’d love to work with Billy Joe Armstrong from Green Day because “he mixes rock and pop and punk together and that’s what I’m trying to do.” So, “Get You Off” (with Gordon), “Hole” (with Hanley), the alt-rocking “Miss Vicious”, the snotty “As a Blonde” (covered by Selena Gomez!), the P!nk-esque “Yeah Yeah Yeah”, and the heartfelt ballads “Get Over Me”, “Man Meets Boy” and “Be Strong”, are all great tracks. But, my favorites are “Scar”, an insanely addictive dose of classic power pop brilliance, and “The Initiator”, in which a randy Dobson uses her best Joan Jett vocal stylings to get some action. My kinda girl!

Watch the video, my favorite, for “Don’t Let It Go To Your Head” here:

FefeDobson-02DFefeDobson-04Fefe Dobson Discography
2003.12.09 – Fefe Dobson (Island Records) [Album]
2010.11.22 – Joy (21 Music/Island Records) [Album]
2012-12.18 – Sunday Love (Island Records) [Album]
2013 – ??

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4 responses to “Fefe Dobson

  1. Pingback: Stars In Stereo | Rock Chicks Rule!·

  2. Pingback: Kay Hanley Isn’t a Faded Dress | My Heart Explodes·

  3. Pingback: Fefe Dobson: “A little sugar, a little rage” | My Heart Explodes·

  4. Pingback: Fefe Dobson « Girls, Guns & Zombies!·

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