Public Warning

  • Record Label: Def Jam
  • Release Date: Oct 31, 2006
Metascore
67

Generally favorable reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. From production to persona, rhymes to flow, Public Warning is almost flawless.
  2. Even if Sov doesn't cross over the way she or Def Jam might want her to, she still sounds like an original--even for people who know half the songs already.
  3. Urb
    80
    Though it's a letdown to revisit [the five EP cuts] in place of new material, "Those Were the Days," "My England" and "Love Me or Hate Me" make up for it largely. [Oct 2006, p.115]
  4. Billboard
    80
    Fully realized and largely insane. [4 Nov 2006]
  5. A full-length debut strong on deft, cheeky wordplay and blessedly free of the usual hip-hop clichés burdening her American counterparts.
  6. An exciting introduction to an extraordinary artist captured at just the right time.
  7. If a classic pop album is something that defines the moment, is rammed with ideas and necessarily crammed with singles, then Lady Sov's cracked it first time out.
  8. With solid production throughout, there’s little to slight Public Warning besides Sov’s hang-up with her diminutive physical stature.
  9. The lyrics here are a lacerating mix of blue collar bile and blue language, little Lady Muck simultaneously waging class and crass warfare.
  10. Lady Sov's street cred, raw talent, and gumption can't mask Public Warning's faults--like overly frenetic beats and a handful of choruses that rely on tuneless yelling instead of a good refrain.
  11. Though Sov hates the comparison, "Public Warning" does recall Eminem's early work. It's uproariously funny, for one thing, with a cutting anger lurking just behind the jokes.
  12. On Public Warning, Lady Sovereign explores the natural edges of her characteristic sound and emerges a more fully-realised artist.
  13. Vibe
    70
    A gleeful, idiosyncratic pastiche. [Nov 2006, p.156]
  14. The slick, flashy façade that renders tracks like the predictable "Love Me Or Hate Me" and the bland title cut seemingly hollow detracts from the obvious skill of the self-proclaimed "biggest midget in the game," making Public Warning less of an instant classic and more of a promise of things to come.
  15. She catchily sends up herself, her Britishness and the unlikelihood of her (likely) stardom.
  16. Paste Magazine
    70
    Sov doesn't sound quite as explosive here as she did on her legendary demo tracks, but there's no containing her charisma. [Oct 2006, p.75]
  17. Despite some uneven striving-for-maturity moments... Sov's at her best when she doesn't take herself too seriously.
  18. Spin
    70
    The toughest cuts are still the early singles. But shorty's in the process of becoming something bigger than a hot, patois-spitting grime MC. [Nov 2006, p.101]
  19. 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.
  20. New Musical Express (NME)
    70
    A vital trans-Atlantic concern, the point where Dizzee meets Jay-Z. [3 Feb 2007, p.33]
  21. At times Sovereign exceeds at being entertaining and at other times her simplistic lyrics, heavy accent and electronic beats prove to be too much to grasp.
  22. For every moment that Sov's supreme wit and impeccable cadence is fitfully showcased on Public Warning!, there is a moment when her gifts are squandered amidst anxious beats that try to compete with her huge personality.
  23. Even if Sov doesn't live up to the hype, there is enough quality material on Public Warning to warrant more music from the self-proclaimed "biggest midget in the game."
  24. Uncut
    60
    The contrived newer stuff suggests she should stop trying to impress US hip hop royalty. [Mar 2007, p.91]
  25. 'Public Warning' is a good record. It's just unfortunate that (no doubt at the behest of the major label moneymen) Sov's Stateside commitments have led to it emerging here rather bloated, feebly, and late.
  26. Q Magazine
    60
    A cheap production slightly undermines, but the world is hers. [Mar 2007, p.111]
  27. 50
    Her subject matter is goofier, her flow is dumbed down and her beats are staler.
  28. She undoubtedly has a great record or two in her. This, sadly, isn't one of them.
  29. Every song seems like it all went through a grime factory conveyor belt, and at the expense of being cohesive, Public Warning grows a bit repetitive.
  30. It's all very funny and cheeky, but after a full album's worth it grows cloying, like a good Saturday Night Live skit that's two minutes too long.
  31. Mojo
    40
    The joke's pretty much over after one listen. [Feb 2007, p.106]
  32. Public Warning is the sound of a fantastic artist seemingly intent on compromising all her strengths.
  33. Filter
    36
    A thin and innocuous stretch of yawners. [#22, p.97]
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 26 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 7 out of 20
  1. Aug 18, 2010
    10
    Some really amazing songs on it. Pretty energetic. Rhymes and flow are great. A lot of catchy tunes that actually have sense. "Those were theSome really amazing songs on it. Pretty energetic. Rhymes and flow are great. A lot of catchy tunes that actually have sense. "Those were the days" is my absolute favorite. Full Review »
  2. MarcelB
    May 30, 2009
    8
    Lady Sovereign is the most courageous singer I seen in a long time. The album is one of the bests in the style I ever hear. Loved her!
  3. SimonB
    May 14, 2008
    5
    I found her promising, but after getting her album. The result was a blatant "meh". She's good and funny but her songs sound like Eminem I found her promising, but after getting her album. The result was a blatant "meh". She's good and funny but her songs sound like Eminem material. Even if she claims she isn't to be compared to him, she plays the exact same role he does except more rashly and more teenagery. I know she's 24 or something but she really acts like a teenager. Probably uses this for her image or from her image. Her lyrical prestations are okay. Nothing grand. I don't think she should've aimed for a world-wide market. Probably just stayed in England. Not everybody's ready for an artist that is already hated as she comes on. I find her album's okay and at times just pointlessly bad. So a five is what it deserves. I know she said Jay-Z auditioned her and she passed, but Jay-Z's about as good as they come... And that's not saying much. So I don't know. I think she's a one-hit wonder and her album shows this. She already sonuds like she's half-way through her carreer and is looking for her identity. Buy it if you want, but you'll be dissapointed. Full Review »