this review was originally posted on May 3, 2012 for Throwback Thursday (#tbt)
If Santigold had very little belief in the quality of music when her too awesome, genre-bending debut Santogold (and one of the best albums of the last decade) was released, she’s even more wonderfully contemptuous towards her foes and still sympathetic to the misunderstood with her sonically tribal and dense Master of My Make Believe. There is something very magical realist about her sophomore set, as Santi continues to act disenfranchised from the general consensus of what is good and bad art and why does it seem that those who least deserve the applause, or are just so hungry for attention, always seem to get what they want in spades–all of which is expressed in an enchanting smoke of multi-layered, cross-cultural beats, the cinematic effects of a waterfall and nature, and lyrics that speak of emotional ambush and deliverance. Santigold is here, representing for the underside, where opinions are not treated as just omnipresent features, but as varied and diverse evaluations all aiming for the same goal of a more open-minded, free-spirited landscape, and this fight is in the name of sincere musical freedom.
The major difference between Santogold and Make-Believe is that the former was more incomparable, an utter gumbo pot of everything you could possibly do with music and such a feat was an engrossing experience for the listener, and while Make-Believecertainly excels in being affective, it’s most distinct attribute is that Santi went from being sassy to brooding. At times, she sounds genuinely sad but trusts that better days will come for her and her fellow Charlie Browns on the blood, sweat, and tears anthem ”Disparate Youth” and the beautifully supple ”This Isn’t Our Parade” with its debonair chorus. Additionally, she could be suddenly agitated and ready for attack (“GO” with Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Fame”, “Freak like Me”), and then deliciously over it, shown deliriously on the humorous “Look at These Hoes”.
It seems as if Santigold really sat down and thought about the industry that she’s been in and conversely, what exactly is she contributing to the spectrum. Whether it’s through her northern downpours or brassy content, she wants to be someone who matters, but she wants for those that come across her presentation to never forget to go their own way. Santi seeks to inspire you to always follow the latter. She’s the mastermind of the road ahead of her, and you should be too.
–C. Shardae Jobson (@lavishrebellion)
THE BEST: “Disparate Youth”, “Fame”, “This Isn’t Our Parade”, “Pirate in the Water”, “The Keepers”