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Album Review

Lady Sovereign, 'Jigsaw'

April 6, 2009
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Hip-Hop
Lady Sovereign Jigsaw
Midget
ESSENTIAL "Let's Be Mates"
Lady Sovereign plays the Paradise Rock Club on May 3.

Declaring herself "the biggest midget in the game," pint-size rapper Lady Sovereign has carved out quite a niche. She's English, 23 going on 18, spits her tongue-twisting rhymes in a raspy Cockney accent, and could easily drink Amy Winehouse under the table. On her third album, though, Lady Sovereign sounds like the life of the party who gets lonely when it's over. "Jigsaw" presents the MC in a slightly more confessional mode, looking inward to see how all her drama can take its toll. On the title track, over a digitized guitar line, she sings, "My heart is like a jigsaw puzzle/ Pick it up and fix it for me/ Can you figure it out?" She doesn't get too carried away by her emotions, though. "Jigsaw" is ultimately another mash-up of big electro-dance beats and hip-hop swagger. Sovereign gets frisky in "Let's Be Mates," the irresistible opener. "I Got You Dancing," where Sovereign's distorted vocals render it "I gaht you dawncin'," is a banging club anthem with Sovereign rightly boasting: "You ain't never heard of a girl who could do it like this." (Out tomorrow)

JAMES REED