Lady Sovereign, Chester French, Hollywood Holt | Metro | Hip-Hop | Chicago Reader

Lady Sovereign, Chester French, Hollywood Holt Recommended Member Picks Early Warnings (Music) Soundboard

When: Thu., May 14, 8 p.m. 2009

On “Guitar,” from her new Jigsaw, British grime MC Lady Sovereign admits to feeling worn out by the scrutiny that comes with hype, and you can hear it all over the record. She was dropped by Def Jam after her solid full-length debut, Public Warning, failed to break out, and Jigsaw is on her own label, an EMI imprint called Midget Records—her press materials claim this is a return to her DIY roots, but the album feels joyless and forced. The cocky contrarian biting off witty verses has been replaced by a walking heap of self-doubt desperate for acceptance, and the production—by longtime cohort Medasyn—isn’t any more fun. “So Human” is basically a halfway-rewritten cover of the Cure’s “Close to Me” with rapping on the verses, and the wannabe club banger “I Got You Dancing” indulges in unironically crappy Auto-Tuned singing—though Sov tries to pass off these lame crossover stabs as examples of artistic growth, they sound like last-ditch lunges at the pop charts. I’m pretty sure she’ll miss. Chester French and Hollywood Holt open. —Peter Margasak

Price: $15

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