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3.2 out of 5 stars
Jigsaw
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on May 29, 2009
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
An extremely disappointing follow-up to Lady Sovereign's fantastic debut album "Public Warning" (which ultimately was a compilation of earlier Lady Sovereign EPs and singles, with a few new tracks thrown in for good measure), it appears that Def Jam may actually have been justified in dropping the self-proclaimed "biggest midget in the game" from its line-up after only one critically-acclaimed album.

While Lady Sovereign herself is in fine enough form, the music from returning producer Medasyn feels lazy, weakly-constructed and uninspired. Even when sampling from tried-and-true hit singles like The Cure's "Close To Me", the songs feel generic, thin and unmemorable, with not a single note-worthy hook on the entire album. Even music aficionados who enjoy 80's synth and grime (the two most prominent musical styles on the album) will find this album forgettable.

It appears that, in producing an entire album all at once rather than just focusing on a few singles at a time, Medasyn has bit off more than he could musically chew... either that, or he simply ran out of steam.

All in all, for hardcore fans only.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 2, 2009
Lady Sovereign makes some awesome music! It is not exactly rap/hip-hop, as it has a much more up-beat tone, and change in sound. Instead of having a constant mundane beat that gets old after listening to it over and over, there is a lot of change in the tone. I think part of what I like about her music is the way she changes her voice's tone a lot, which adds to the music. All of this combined make for music that does not have the pattern of an over-used chorus. Most choruses are delightful, and catchy in Lady Sovereign's music.

The music is more jovial, and has a happier tune in comparison to most. The lyrics can be described as "cute" and "fun" instead of the normal and more serious type of lyrics that tend to revolve around romance, love, or a hard life found in most music. The accent also gives the music a different feel, and makes it stand out against the rest of my collection as a unique sounding masterpiece. Definitely a pleasure to listen to!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2009
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
For her age (24), Lady Sovereign has already accomplished allot in her career. Despite being young, white, and British, Sovereign is the first foreign female artist signed by Def-Jam records. Jigsaw is her second album.

Sovereign definitely has a different sound than most American rappers. Her sound is a little poppy (somewhat like the Veronicas), a little techno, and of course a little hip-hop. Her newest Album, Jigsaw is listenable, but I found it a bit stale by track 4. The problem is that her songs all kinda sound the same. My favorite tracks are 2 (So Human)and 7 (Guitar), which also seem to be the most distinctive tracks on the album.

In sum, Jigsaw is listenable and has some good songs for dancing, but I wouldn't pay more that 8 dollars for it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on November 20, 2012
On this album Lady Sovereign shows she has nothing to prove as the beats and the rhymes are toned down to reach an audience like me, people who don't care about music videos.

I loved Public Warning, because it was a very funny album, but this album showed signs of Sov maturing and gettting away fron Def Jam's image.

So Human and Pennies will always be my favorite songs but I still love and listen to the whole album.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful
With "Jigsaw," listeners can tell that Lady Sovereign's still a little lost as to what kind of music she wants to make.

Lady Sovereign has always dangerously straddled the line between rap and dance club music. "Jigsaw" marks a change of pace, in which the British rap star decided to switch to M.I.A. style rap and dance music.

But Lady Sovereign is not exactly as original or as fresh as M.I.A. Sure, her first song is a hot tune with hard-hitting club beats and squeeking electronic sounds. Sovereign sounds pretty sexy singing in a low alto "I'm weird and you're weird/Let's be mates."

Her next song, however, is a little flat. She raps to some really cheap synthesizer sample of "Close To Me." And with weird lyrics such as "And when the beat went on, and it really ain't f***in' hot enough/You should've seen me runnin' out the studio like Forrest Gump", she really just doesn't do her original sample justice.

Sometimes Sov tries to sing like a diva, as in the title track "Jigsaw," but it doesn't work. Her vocal work is decent at best, but it sounds so out of place with the cheap rock beat and the dull string ensemble in the background.

Finally, listeners will get really tired of her cheesy vocal effects. It's tiring to listen to Sov say "doin' it" with that scratchy low vocoder effect for the twenty-umpteenth time in "I Got You Dancing."

It's a shame, because she has quite a lot to say in her album. There's nothing more irresistable that her song "Pennies," in which she sings "How many pennies have been gone from me?" to a bumping dance beat and some funky wah-wah synthesizers.

Still, Sov's album sounds decent for a rap/dance album. Sure, Sov is definitely no M.I.A., but she still sounds reasonably cool and sexy on "Jigsaw." She just doesn't sound great.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The sophomore album from English rapper Louise Amanda Harman a.k.a. Lady Sovereign. Lady Sovereign is a grime artist (urban music from East London combining UK garage, dance hall and hip hop) who has pushed to show that she's a legit music artist and an example of an artist where hard work, persistence and using the Internet in getting one's name out.

Known for her furious delivery with her rap lyrics and typically sporting a masculine clothing and her share of controversies, Lady Sovereign is free from corporate label wrangling by leaving Island and now doing music her way and her own style by her calling the shots through Midget Records (part of EMI).

Since the release of her 2006 album "Public Warning", the next two years would feature the artist going through a variety of challenges in her personal life but also her enjoying electronic music and that newfound passion shows in her latest album "JIGSAW". An album that features tracks written by her but also multiple collaborations with several artists and producers.

The first track "Lets Be Mates" features a pretty cool monosynth-pop track about wanting to hook up. Overall, an alright opening track but its when you get to the second track that features an interpolation of "Close to Me" originally performed by The Cure that things pickup. Overall, a pretty awesome track featuring a cool, hip hop track that utilizes Robert Smith's track quite well. An addicting track overall!

The third track "Jigsaw" features a song about missing an old love and being pissed that things are not the same as before. The track is produced by Dr. Luke and overall, a deep track with cool rhymes and cool music and great use of violin throughout the track.

The fourth track "BANG BANG" features a bass-driven, almost late 80's hip hop nostalgic style of track.

The fifth track features the only single from the album titled "I got you dancing..." featuring an upbeat, dance track. Overall, a slick dance track with addictive beats.

The sixth track "Pennies" is a synth pop track and perhaps this is Lady Sovereign's middle finger going up to her former record company. About how money was made from her, as Sov ask's "How many pennies have you gotten from me...".

The seventh track "Guitar" features cool grooves, cool beats with an underlying violin playing in the background. Overall, a deep song about getting used to the fame.

The eight track "Student Union" utilizes early 80's synth-style music and a song possibly about the people she couldn't stand at the school and being a high school dropout.

The ninth track "Food Play" is an all out sexual and sensual track. A slow-tempo track that was OK but just didn't dig the high vocoder vocals used during the song.

The final track features Lady Sovereign writing about the fame and people adding her on Facebook and addressing those who want her for rhymes and those who are Cling-ons. Another synth, experimental musical track.

The CD insert booklet features the lyrics to the tracks on the album.

JUDGMENT CALL:

Lady Sovereign's latest album "JIGSAW" is definitely an album that showcases the 23-year-old's delivery of rhymes. In fact, this time around, things are much more brighter in terms of the music compared to the dark, angsty lyrics and music from her last album.

Some tracks such as "Bang Bang", "Jigsaw" and "Guitar" are enjoyable tracks and "So Human" is quite addicting to listen to, even if it uses The Cure's "Close To Me" as its musical backdrop. But the album "JIGSAW" is a mix bag. "Student Union", "Food Play" and "I Got the Goods" were OK tracks but doesn't end the album on a sensational note especially since the album starts off with some awesome, upbeat, well-crafted tracks.

But in the end, I think that Sov's independence and having her own freedom on her own imprint label gives her more creative freedom and I'd love to see more collaborative work and really come up with some crazy, creative music but keeping up her furious delivery of competent lyrics as she continually has demonstrated.

Overall, "JIGSAW" is a pretty cool, upbeat album that definitely is more on the creative experimental side as you get a good balance of electro, synth pop, hip hop and old school grooves and beats. You'll definitely find a good number awesome tracks on this album worth checking out!
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I briefly moonlighted as a rock n' roll DJ at a greasy hipster haven on the Lower East Side about 5 years ago, people began whispering about Lady Sovereign, a Grime Electro Rapper, a little white chick from London named Louise who was making a name for herself in the typical smoky underground fashion: through frenetic club shows and perky interest on hip hop blogs.

What was she gonna be, a sort of 21st Century Salt N Pepa (a significant influence of hers) or something even dirtier, even grander, more far out and spliced together than ever before?

Actually--Not really. She's sort of what the Stone Roses were to Britpop: almost immediately upstaged by the very genre she seemed to sally forth, claw out, and re-awaken. No one's saying it's fair, but Amy Winehouse came along and sunk her teeth into the tabloids with a sheer, very real recklessness and a rather awesome voice. Lilly Allen emerged from the preening London club culture with a brash, effective naturalism and two records like teflon: evocative, melodic, funny, and too charming to dismiss. And then, as if nailing the coffin shut, came M.I.A. who seemed to just do it better: sexier, edgier, brittle and dynamic.

That's not to say that listening to "Jigsaw" is like donning a Members Only jacket with a handful of mousse to dine at a nu-speakeasy on Eldridge Street in 2009. But....maybe kinda? The record tries hard, but too hard; it's ultimately overdone by a thrumming sort of desperation. It's busier and louder than it needs to be. Songs like "Let's Be Mates" and "I Got You Dancing" aren't more clever than their titles suggest, and cloy rather quickly. Both the title track and "Bang Bang" are actually great tracks. With propulsive beats, Lady Sov seems to fit into her own strangulated raps. Danceworthy near-anthems, they shimmer and bend only to get buried by the boring, rat-tatty delirium that marks tracks 5 through 10.

"So Human" the clear lone gem here, is a winning cover of "Close to Me" by The Cure, and sure to make my favorite ipod playlist. Does it say something that her most honest and successful track is nothing more than a cover of a New Wave classic? Probably not. Let's not forget M.I.A.'s best song, "Paper Planes" (and all it's endless remixed versions) samples a riff from the Clash. So what is it about Lady Sov? Her voice can cut through tin, but she seemingly drowns here, on this Lady-Rapper-for-Starbucks album. In this cut-and-paste itunes music era, very few records have a mean seamless cohesion. She paved the way, but got a little lazy in the process. Lily Allen peeped a hole into a world. And so did Amy Winehouse (not that I'd want to be there) so maybe she needs to throw out the pyrotechnics, go inwards, focus on the rhymes, put sense into the words, and do what all artists do again and again--find her voice.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 4, 2009
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Lady Sovereign is good at what she does - rap.

Unfortunately, there are some songs on this 10 track album which I feel aren't up to par to her previous works. At times the songs can seem downright repetitive and some just don't work - props to some expansion of her style though.

Here's a track by track by track rating with comparisons of other artists/songs/genres.

1. Let's be Mates - 2/5. Think Azzido De Base having a kid with Cake (The band not the food). Decent beat nonsensical lyrics. Not enjoyable from Sovereign.

2. So Human - 5/5. Best track on the album hands down. Samples the Cure's "Close to Me".

3. Jigsaw - 2/5. She's singing - kinda like Kanye trying to sing sans Autotune. Horrible.

4. Bang Bang - 2/5. A Black Eye Pea-like track unfortunately not a good one.

5. I Got You Dancing - 4/5. Certainly like a good Black Eye Peas song catchy and pop-py.

6. Pennies - 3/5. I swear she channeled M.I.A. for this track. Would have liked it more had it been M.I.A. not Sovereign.

7. Guitar - 4/5. Think Kanye West/ Twista. Has the violins. Certainly good beat and production value.

8. Student Union - 2/5 . Rastafarian in nature (Reggae) its like a copy of track 1 with reggae beat. Too repetitive - like Kelis' "Milkshake" in a bad way.

9. Food Play - 3/5 Mediocre follow up track. Sounds like Gangsta Rap of the 90's. Somewhat out of character for her but a good changeup.

10. I Got The Goods - 4/5 Reminiscent of Kelis's "Milkshake" in a good way - Unique and catchy. Unfortunately many of the songs seem too repetitive.

Overall 3.5/5
Had it not been for a few repetitive tracks and some just downright scary ones 4 was possible.

But give her props she really is expanding her style - Unfortunately, it comes off like M.I.A. or Kelis and sometimes both.

Again best track - "So Human" by a mile!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon June 3, 2009
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I'm admittedly not a big fan of hip hop, but Lady Sovereign's attempt certainly leaves mixed results.

Yeah, it's not really hip hop, but rap with a somewhat fused hip-hop/techno backdrop. The result is interesting, but she does come across as somewhat grating and the "tune" competes with her in terms of who can be more grating/loud.

Don't get me wrong...I love loud music, but I actually get a headache trying to filter her words through the haze of sound.

My only other quip is the rather over-used cliche of having an artist use his/her name as a "story" point in a song. Oh, really? Is that how you like things? Is that how you want them? How many hundreds of time has that been poetic device been shoved through my inner ear?
The only redeeming track, however, is an interesting spin on an old Cure tune with "So Human." It's a pretty good track overall, well-produced, and certainly showcases Lady Sovereign as someone who may have a potential future in the industry. But the remaining tracks can easily be left on the side of the road without any loss.

If you can buy an individual track, go with "So Human". Avoid the rest of the album.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format: Audio CDVine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Lady Sovereign has her own hip-hop-synth-pop-electro sound. Listening to the first three tracks (Let's Be Mates, So Human and Jigsaw) I was able to interpret that her lyrics was representing her own personal life with the whirlwinds of fame and the music business. She sounds like the "wrong side of the tracks" girl that is trying to take charge of her own life. She offers a variety of genres from rap, pop, new-wave, hip-hop and electro pop/dance throughout this album. That's a lot of variety! Her quirky raps and wordplay gives her music an uplift beat to them. Now there are some songs that are just "skippable" like Food Play and I Got the Goods but overall I enjoyed this CD. Somewhat disappointed though that there are only 10 songs with a total playing time of 37 minutes. Lady Sovereign I believe experiments with much of the music on this album because she is just trying to find out who she really is and what she really wants. All in all she is just having fun and I would recommend this CD so you can judge it for yourself.
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