Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Public Warning - Lady Sovereign

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I've liked Lady Sov for what must be a couple of years now which immediately causes problems. Firstly timing can be everything with these kinds of thing and its an easy suggestion to make that Sov, or her record label, has somewhat missed the zeitgeist as far as releasing Public Warning in this country goes. Secondly many of the songs on this collection are ones that anyone with more than a passing interest in Lady Sov will already be very familiar with, the majority being versions of demo's that have been doing the rounds for a year or more.

All of this, of course, is due to the fact that Jay-Z picked her out in the States and as such the main focus was cracking America, a task Lady Sov has somewhat achieved. Over here though, a lot of her buzz has been superseded by the likes of Lily Allen, who may stylistically be miles away from what is on display here but in the terms of the music press is probably seen as a like-for-like contemporary.

What is also clear is that its the tracks that seemingly have the American market in mind the most that are the ones that fall most flat. Those Were The Days comes across all sentimental but just seems false whilst My England seems tailored to American stereotypes of how we English really are. Both fail to shine in the translation.

Luckily most of the rest is quite good indeed. Latest single Love Me Or Hate Me is a catchy one (and appears here twice - the Missy Elliot featuring mix adding little) and whilst 9-to-5 still jarrs in comparison the the rest of the Sov catalogue, both Random and Hoodie benefit from new production jobs and justify the decision, in part, to stick to older tracks for the album.

Much like the single states, your choice really is to love Lady Sovereign or hate her; there certainly seems little opportunity for middle ground. Personally I lean more to loving her than hating her although over the course of a whole album the Lady Sov persona can get a little annoying. Still Public Warning is an enjoyable collection which, whilst perhaps not converting the unimpressed, has enough to prove to her fans that they were right to support her.

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