REVIEW: Santigold – Master Of My Make Believe

Artist: Santigold
Album: Master of my Make-Believe
Genre: Post-Punk, Hip-Hop

Of all of the aspects in music that I find to be overwhelmingly intriguing, it is its constant element of change that seems to possess the most blatant ability to snag me with a white knuckle grip. Roughly four years ago, When Santigold (known to her mom as Santi White) released her self titled cut, I remember reviewing it with a passing glance, barely noticing it existed at all. As I recall, there was nothing about the album that I hated, but it certainly didn’t have the legs to walk up my list of most listened to albums. Ironically, sporting a cover with the artist vomiting glitter, I found nothing that seemed to shine about the album (regardless of how many people adored it).

However, sometime during the Obama administration everything shifted. Maybe the way I listen to music was altered over the course of the last half decade. It is possible I guess that I am to blame for this. However, I also think the way Santigold has approached music has taken a drastic turn for the better (in my opinion at least).

For starters, Master Of My Make-Believe seems to take a more rock ‘n roll approach to a hip-hop sound. Laced with industrial computer loops and drum riffs that The Clash would be willing to borrow, Santigold manages to bridge the gap of dance club and rock fist. While many of the albums tracks still possess the reggae pop structure she has become known for, Master seems to approach the border of punk rock reggae (think Rudie Can’t Fail by The Clash.) “Desperate Youth” the album’s second track, is a shining example of this. The percussion riffs are stellar and placed flawlessly over catchy bass riffs. In my opinion, the production of the newest album is heads about her self titled cut, projecting an image of being far more collected and tight. There is nothing about this album that is done half-assed.

More importantly, Santigold hold’s nothing back this time. There are honestly no genres on this album. “Go!” manages to tap into elements of industrial rock while also featuring indie-punk princess Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs. “God From The Machine” couples that played out indie drum sound popular with hipsters these days with the haunting Florence and the Machine girl power movement. She then shifts again, letting her Missy Elliot on “Freak Like Me.” Without question, if you can’t find something on this album to cling to you may not actually like music. This album has more choices than a Chinese buffet.

Chances are strong that you can not make it through the roaring 38 minutes album without shaking your ass. Personally, I came into this review expecting to close the door on another radio single cluttered with filler album tracks. Instead, I stumbled onto soundtrack to place my life over. Santigold has composed anything but rubbish. This inspired album will no doubt be blaring from earbuds everywhere I go for the immediate future.

SCORE: 9/10
Review written by: Josh Hammond (Twitter)

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