Lady Sovereign – Public Warning (2006): Review


Produced by Basement Jaxx, Dr. Luke and Medasyn
Label – Def Jam

The release of “Public Warning” to U.K audiences is frankly, an afterthought. After all, her U.K career has hardly been a glowing success. In the past two years the Chalkhills, London grime artist has launched 5 singles, none of them troubling the top 20 except for the collaboration with The Ordinary Boys for her rehashed “Nine2Five”. For Donna Harman (a.k.a Lady Sovereign) has a bigger market to conquer, and anyone from across the pond will be more familiar with the Sporty Spice/Vicki Pollard TRL celebrity, than the folks of her homeland. There’s one major reason for the urgent rush to launch “the midget”, and it’s been created by Jay-Z; a man who still wields an incredible amount of power and influence amongst the American Hip/Hop community. He personally picked her out as the new face of DefJam, and the corporate wheels duly spun with inevitable vigour to support the potential “Feminem” factor.


The songs and videos are full of industrial language and self deprecating “humour”, but tragically it’s all been done before, and it’s definitely not funny. She possesses none of the street sass of two recent UK exports M.I.A or Lily Allen, and the loathsome parade of silly teen jokes, played over rhythms and instrumentation that’s more closely related to synth pop than hip hop become irritating after more than one listen. It’s a little like the jewellery and watches you win in those arcade grabber machines. It’s shiny for a couple of days, then turns to an ugly, dull tarnished finish. Opinion is still out on Jay-Z’s ability to pick new talent, but Lady Sovereign certainly won’t increase his stock, and whatever her draw is, it’s definitely not the music

At least the title gives a clue. The “Public Warning” is clearly an instruction not to buy this record.


Track Listing
1 – 9 To 5 3:32
2 – Gatheration 3:24
3 – Random 3:36
4 – Public Warning 3:46
5 – Love Me Or Hate Me 3:30
6 – My England 3:58
7 – Tango 3:38
8 – A Little Bit Of Shhh 3:45
9 – Hoodie 3:37
10 – Those Were The Days 3:50
11 – Blah Blah 3:58
12 – Fiddle With The Volume 3:40
13 – Love Me Or Hate Me Remix 3:40

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