CD Review: Lady Sovereign

Jigsaw (Midget Records)

"Let's Be Mates," the opening song on Lady Sovereign's second album, goes like this: "I'm weird/And you're weird/Let's be mates." It's not lyrically innovative or particularly compelling, but it's fitting that the British rapper recognizes that she's unconventional, and her fans probably are too if they're listening to her. The rest of Jigsaw follows 2006's Public Warning, her critically acclaimed and commercially successful debut, with a similar fast-talking, not-really-saying-anything sensibility. Lady Sov occasionally spits some clever lines, but her lyrics don't have the wit or punch to match her powerful, speedy delivery.

"I Got You Dancing!" (the album's first single) is bouncy, with snappy vocals, but it's overly remixed and the lyrics are weak. Jigsaw has some strong points: The title track is comparably emotive and engaging, as Lady Sov explores her singing abilities and conveys interesting ideas about relationships, while "So Human," which appropriates the Cure's "Close to Me," is memorable and dancey. Lady Sov didn't turn out to be a wunderkind after Public Warning, and Jigsaw lacks a clear vision. But she's talented and turns a compelling phrase. We'll just go with it when she says, "Let's be mates." — Emily Zemler