Lady Sovereign – Jigsaw

sfwd-lady-sovereign-jigsaw-coverArtist: Lady Sovereign
Album: Jigsaw
Genre: Hip Hop/Pop
Label: Midget/EMI

I don’t know if you’ve ever felt this way, but for me, this was a record that was on my most anticipated albums I didn’t know about list. By this I mean, I really wanted a follow up to her debut, but never knew if I’d get one. So, when I found out the S-O-V was back, I was completely up for whatever she wanted to throw my way. Jigsaw, the new album from Lady Sovereign is a bit more of a mixed bag compared to the debut, with the “biggest midget in the game” trying some new musical styles, but that voice can’t be denied.

Kicking off the record with two weak raps is never a good move. “So Human,” has some solid flows, but by the time, “Let’s Be Mates,” begins, you can’t even remember the hook. “Mates,” on the other hand, a track about a crush has some funny lines and typical SOV tongue twisting, but there is zero bite or wit. I feel like everything is presented at face value. No substance. The title track then arrives with a much more pop style structure. Personally, I like it as it shows she has some additional skills, but the pre-choruses have these awkward 8 bar raps that kind of break the cycle of the track. However, it is a move forward from the start of the record. There is still some hope in the first half of the record because of the flaming hot single, “I Got You Dancing.” This has the genre expansion, but still the little niches that make the SOV different from other artists. 

As we move along, quite disappointed into the back half, things start off positive with, “Pennies.” There is this fire in the Lady’s voice that just resonates really well. “Guitar,” has so many string samples you’d think Eminem produced it, but that is not the case. This track suffers from terrible hook syndrome and there is no amount of witty lines that can bring you back from that terrible disease. I kept my hopes up that I’d find something to really wow me on the back half and my results were thin. Food Play,” has some great lyrics about love and sex, but the hook, once again, falls on its face. Also, the beat leaves you wanting a lot more. This brings us to the closing track, the one in which every artist gets to leave us with our jaws on the floor for more and though Lady Sovereign doesn’t quite reach that territory, the album does improve. Some quick witted lines and a really intriguing beat bring you in for one last dance with the Lady before it’s done, but it’s still lacking overall.

I wish I could have saved myself all the effort and just wrote “disappointment” on this review. The first release from Lady Sovereign marked the arrival of a fresh talent on the hip hop scene that could someday change things, but with this record, Sovereign shuffles herself into the deck of fly by night hip hop. If you have a chance, check out the single and run screaming from the rest. The only puzzle in Jigsaw is trying to figure out what went wrong.

Score: 3/10

James Shotwell
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