Lady Sovereign


Editorial Review

Allison Stewart wrote about Lady Sovereign in April 2009 for The Washington Post:

Lady Sovereign used to be a novelty act. A white, pint-size British MC specializing in grime (that pugnacious, peculiarly English amalgam of garage and hip-hop), Lady Sovereign made her full-length debut in 2006 with the deft and brassy "Public Warning." It made her semi-famous, establishing her somewhere between the rapper the Streets, grime superstar Wiley and Sporty Spice on the strange continuum of Things British People Like.

But on her sophomore full-length, "Jigsaw," Lady Sovereign sings almost as much as she raps. "Jigsaw" isn't her answer to Kanye West's "808s & Heartbreak," exactly, but its use of Auto-Tune, its alarming expression of things like "emotions" and "feelings," all done with obvious eye toward the mainstream, demonstrates what can happen when a novelty act is stripped of its novelty. Once on her way to being a female, flyweight division Eminem, she now seems like just another exaggeratedly cockney word-slinger like Kate Nash or Lily Allen.

"Jigsaw" features electro, dance and retro-pop beats embedded underneath Lady Sov's brainy, twisty raps, which occasionally ring hollow. There's a fast, fussy take on the Cure's "Close to Me" (renamed "So Human," and co-penned by "Since U Been Gone" co-writer Dr. Luke) and a track referencing Facebook friending ("I Got the Goods") that already sounds dated. But it's hard to top the inexplicable, English-breakfast-fetishizing "Food Play" ("You could cover me in porridge / Oh, porridge"). It won't change your opinion of Lady Sovereign one way or the other. But it might put you off porridge for good.