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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Lady Sovereign
Public Warning
Def Jam

Rating: 7/10 ?

December 21, 2006
We all know the stories about Lady Sovereign by now; Louise Harman grew up in rough housing projects in UK, not your typical femme rapper, choked in her audition for Jay-Z at Def Jam, loves hoodies, and loves to drink but isn't of legal age. But how many people actually know about the music behind the persona?

Especially lately, Lady Sov's reputation has grown by leaps and bounds and with this, her first full-length release Public Warning, that means the proving grounds are available for all to hear. It is good then that she comes with a full deck of her aces when she pops off 12 tunes in a unique style of British hip-hop.

When Sov first started gathering interest she was known strictly for her grime aesthetics, but Public Warning brings some pop-mainstream/US influence to her abrasive garage character. As an additional plus, the production on this album is even more varied than on her previous singles. During the title track slow-rolling drum machine street beats are buddied up against upbeat techno grooves and later a ska feel, showing that the Lady isn't too hard to turn to other genres for suggestive hooks.

There are also some fairly impressive moments in which Sov crafts clever rhyme schemes or turns on the afterburner behind her rapping speed - from eighth notes to sixteenths - that some, like myself, didn't know she had in her.

Then there are the less attractive moments. A couple come in the form of the freshly post-teen rapper taking hollow potshots at other artists, and exemplified when she repeats her annoying catch phrase "Make way for the S-O-V." Additionally, some of the production, although varied, is just as cheesy and shortsighted.

There isn't much that Lady Sovereign did prior to Public Warning to gain the amount of respect that she attempts to command and, to some extent, she still doesn't make it all up here. But at least this is a good start to showcase her abilities. Give her a couple albums to figure herself out and then perhaps she'll be an emcee to step out of the way for.

Reviewed by Josh Zanger
Joshua Ian Zanger, a native of rural Chicago, rocks many a world with his writing, style, and generally sweet aroma.

See other reviews by Josh Zanger



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