Back in 2008, many, many commercials featured a song called “L.E.S Artistes” or “Creator“, if you were wondering who was the voice behind it, it was Santi White, otherwise known as Santigold. Now, with her sophomore album titled “Master of My Make-Believe” she’s back with an album full of fusion: from electronica, to drums, dub, pop and hip-hop, Santigold delivers an album as eclectic as her own music that can’t even be categorized into one genre.
From her debut in 2008, I kept an eye on Santigold’s music, both her single work as well as collaborations (one of my personal favorites is “Brooklyn We Go Hard“). Her style very different from other artists, but at the same time very similar to people like M.I.A (after all, they have worked together). It’s electronic, but it’s pop and it has hip-hop elements that while they don’t target a certain audience, the music manages to appease everybody’s taste.
In “Master of My Make-Believe“, Santi starts off the record strong with “GO!” featuring Karen O., with uptempo beats, synths, multiple “hey, hey, hey, hey” throughout the song and lyrics that go “people want my power and they want my station/stormed my winter palace but they couldn’t take it“, it is easy for anyone who has been familiar with Santigold’s music to recognize it immediately. It feels some sort of rebellious, yet you can dance to it. And that’s what I love about this album.
“Master of My Make-Believe” could have been better, but then again it feels as true as Santigold herself. There’s no such thing as “radio-friendly” songs like other artist need in their albums to garner success, there’s no such thing as corporate control. Santigold is doing what she does best: experimenting with different sounds, making a record that you can easily let play and not skip one single song. This is where she wins, and why the album is good. Being able with producing a record that contains a wide variety of instruments, vocals, drums into each and every song, and balance everything out is what makes Santigold one of the prime indie artists. Just like the cover of the album, Santi uses all of her personas to come forward in different songs. In “Look At These Hoes“, you’d expect some Nicki Minaj non-sense rap, instead we get the rapper version of Santigold that actually delivers a good song for a girl rapper. “Freak Like Me” uses a faintly similar beat to Gwen Stefani’s “Rich Girls“, and the song is both fun and danceable. While I do think that she took a while to release the album, it was worth it and I hope that she has more music in store for us.
Favorite songs: “GO!“, “The Keepers“, “Big Mouth“, “Disparate Youth“.
After four years, “Master of My Make-Believe” is the album that any Santigold fan would want, it’s the album that shows us Santigold in her own light, being the ruler of her own reality and we live in it as long as we listen.