Public Warning

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Public Warning
Ladysovereign publicwarning.jpg
Studio album by Lady Sovereign
Released 31 October 2006 (2006-10-31)
(see release history)
Recorded 2004–2006
Genre
Length 44:27
Label
Producer
Lady Sovereign chronology
Blah Blah
(2006)
Public Warning
(2006)
Jigsaw
(2009)
Singles from Public Warning
  1. "Random"
    Released: 14 March 2005
  2. "9 to 5"
    Released: 8 August 2005
  3. "Hoodie"
    Released: 21 November 2005
  4. "Love Me or Hate Me"
    Released: 17 October 2006
  5. "Those Were the Days"
    Released: 9 April 2007

Public Warning is the debut studio album from UK hip hop artist Lady Sovereign released on 31 October 2006. The album, a mix of grime and hip hop, was originally due for release in November 2005 but was pushed back after Lady Sovereign was signed by Island Def Jam.

In a press release, released on 17 July 2006, the album's track listing was finally confirmed, featuring all three of her singles, tracks from her two EPs: Vertically Challenged and Blah Blah as well as newly recorded tracks for the release, including "Love Me or Hate Me" and the latest single, "Those Were the Days". The CD was released in the U.K. on 5 February 2007 and includes the bonus track "Pretty Vacant" [Performed Live] & Enhanced CD link to a 15-minute documentary on Lady Sovereign.

Public Warning received generally positive reviews from critics who credited it for having great production and lyrical content carrying both humor and substance. The album sold over 250,000 copies in the US and sold 300,000 copies worldwide.

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 67/100[1]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[2]
The A.V. Club B+[3]
Drowned in Sound 8/10[4]
Entertainment Weekly B[5]
The Guardian 2/5 stars[6]
Pitchfork Media 6.4/10.0[7]
PopMatters 7/10 stars[8]
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars[9]
Slant Magazine 3.5/5 stars[10]
Stylus Magazine D+[11]

Public Warning received generally positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalised rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album has received an average score of 67, based on 34 reviews.[1]

David Jeffries of AllMusic praised the album for Medasyn's production and Sovereign's lyrical content for being relatable, calling it "an exciting introduction to an extraordinary artist captured at just the right time."[2] Michaelangelo Matos of The A.V. Club compared the album to The Sex Pistols, praising tracks like "Tango" and "Hoodie" for their angst-filled energy, saying "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] Mike Diver of Drowned in Sound praised the album for having solid production and lyrical content that's both gritty and humorous, saying "When her tongue’s in cheek and her rhymes amuse, Lady Sovereign is hugely entertaining.".[4]

Michael Endelman of Entertainment Weekly found criticism in the album's overly frenetic beats and out-of-tune choruses but praised Sovereign for her humor and lyrical flow, saying that her "rubbery rhymes and punky energy are definitely entertaining, and well worth sampling in moderate doses."[5] Steve 'Flash' Juon of RapReviews commented that Sovereign's heavily accented lyrics and electronic beats can get abrasive at times but said the album has crossover potential because of her flow and humor that requires little British familiarity.[12]

The album also received negative reception from critics. Alex Macpherson of The Guardian commented on Sovereign's talent being wasted on hollow content and production that moved towards ska-punk than grime, calling it "the sound of a fantastic artist seemingly intent on compromising all her strengths."[6] Baz Dreisinger of The Village Voice compared Sovereign to Eminem, commenting on the catchy choruses, juvenile humor and one-liners throughout the album but felt that it lacked character and substance to match the comparison.[13] The most critical of the album was Al Shipley of Stylus Magazine, who heavily criticized the botched humor, synthpop production and Sovereign's lyrical flow, saying that she "simulates the altogether new and horrible experience of hearing Eliza Doolittle rap."[11]

Rolling Stone ranked the album number 48 on its list of Best Albums of 2006.[14]

Censored version[edit]

A censored version was also released that used backmasking and sound effects over all the swearing. The album booklet still has all the lyrics written out, but the swearing is starred out.

Tracklist[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "9 to 5"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:32
2. "Gatheration"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich, Danny Harrison, Arthur Smith Menta 3:23
3. "Random"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich, Danny Harrison, Arthur Smith Menta 3:36
4. "Public Warning"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:46
5. "Love Me or Hate Me"   Louise Harman, Lukasz Gottwald Dr Luke 3:29
6. "My England"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:57
7. "Tango"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:37
8. "A Little Bit of Shhh"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:45
9. "Hoodie"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:37
10. "Those Were the Days"   Louise Harman, Lukasz Gottwald Dr Luke 3:50
11. "Blah Blah"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Basement Jaxx 3:57
12. "Fiddle with the Volume"   Louise Harman, Gabriel Olegavich Medasyn 3:37
13. "Love Me or Hate Me" (Remix featuring Missy Elliott) Louise Harman, Lukasz Gottwald, Missy Elliott Dr Luke 3:38
  • The enhanced CD contains a link to a 15-minute documentary

Charts and certifications[edit]

Chart (2006) Peak
position
AUS Albums Chart[15] 97
Japan Albums Chart[16] 212
UK Albums (OCC)[17] 58
US Billboard 200[18] 48
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[19] 12
Sales and certifications
Country Provider Certification Sales
United States RIAA Unknown 250,000+

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label
Australia[20] 1 January 2006 Digital download, CD Def Jam
Germany[21]
United States[22] 31 October 2006
United States[23] 12 December 2006 Vinyl
United Kingdom 5 February 2007 Digital download, CD

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b "Reviews for Public Warning by Lady Sovereign". Metacritic. CBS Interactive. Retrieved 7 April 2009. 
  2. ^ a b Jeffries, David. "Public Warning - Lady Sovereign". AllMusic. All Media Network. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  3. ^ a b Matos, Michaelangelo (14 November 2006). "Review: Lady Sovereign: Public Warning". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  4. ^ a b Diver, Mike (7 February 2007). "Album Review: Lady Sovereign - Public Warning". Drowned in Sound. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Endelman, Michael (27 October 2006). "Public Warning". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  6. ^ a b Macpherson, Alex (2 February 2007). "CD: Lady Sovereign, Public Warning". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  7. ^ Dombal, Ryan (1 November 2006). "Lady Sovereign: Public Warning!". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  8. ^ Raper, Dan (16 October 2006). "Lady Sovereign: Public Warning". PopMatters. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  9. ^ Hsu, Hua (18 October 2006). "Lady Sovereign: Public Warning". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on 11 February 2007. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  10. ^ Jones, Preston (24 October 2006). "Lady Sovereign: Public Warning". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  11. ^ a b Shipley, Al (7 November 2006). "Lady Sovereign - Public Warning! - Review". Stylus Magazine. Retrieved 8 August 2011. 
  12. ^ Juon, Steve 'Flash' (7 November 2006). "Lady Sovereign :: Public Warning :: Def Jam". RapReviews. Retrieved 15 April 2015. 
  13. ^ Dreisinger, Baz (31 October 2006). "Pint-Sized, Tea-Shunning Femme MC Cleans Out Her Closet". The Village Voice. Voice Media Group. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  14. ^ Stereogum Staff (14 December 2006). "Rolling Stone‍ '​s Best Albums Of '06". Stereogum. Spin Media. Retrieved 29 April 2015. 
  15. ^ Public Warning ARIA album chart
  16. ^ Public Warning – Oricon
  17. ^ "Lady Sovereign | Artist | Official Charts". UK Albums Chart Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  18. ^ "Lady Sovereign Album & Song Chart History" Billboard 200 for Lady Sovereign. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  19. ^ "Lady Sovereign Album & Song Chart History" Billboard Top Rap Albums for Lady Sovereign. Retrieved 21 September 2008.
  20. ^ "iTunes - Music - Public Warning by Lady Sovereign". iTunes Store (AU). Apple. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  21. ^ "iTunes - Music - Public Warning by Lady Sovereign". iTunes Store (DE). Apple. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  22. ^ "iTunes - Music - Public Warning by Lady Sovereign". iTunes Store (US). Apple. Retrieved 16 April 2015. 
  23. ^ "Lady Sovereign: Public Warning [Vinyl]". Amazon.com. Retrieved 16 April 2015.