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Review: Santigold succeeds with sophomore effort

Associated Press Published: April 30, 2012
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Santigold, "Master of My Make-Believe" (Atlantic Records)

When she burst onto the musical stage as a solo artist in 2008, Santigold was hailed as a fresh new voice. It took four years for her to release her sophomore album, but it was well worth the wait.

Bold, caustic and original, "Master of My Make-Believe" comes from a place of thoughtfulness and musical knowledge, mixing unusual beats with social commentary about the changing nature of one's life. Atemporal and universal, the album seems to collect sounds from the jungle, the streets, cartoons or world traditions that align perfectly, and magnetically.

Produced in collaboration with a variety of artists-friends such as Switch, Diplo, David Sitek, Nick Zinner and Greg Kurstin, the record feels infused with a variety of personal styles that together brew a magic concoction. Santigold's voice, the common ingredient of this potion, changes between songs with a calibrated precision that captures the essence of the beat.

"GO!" punches through the airwaves with the conviction of an admiral ready for battle: "People want my power/And they want more station/Stormed my winter palace/But they couldn't take it! " Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs features on this track about power and power envy.

The pop-tastic "The Riot's Gone" is seductive and purposeful, while "Pirate in the Water" treads the plank between funk and reggae. "Look At These ... " is a racy electronic hip-hop whisper, and "Keepers" mixes Asian chimes with electronic rock.

Rhythmical, relatable and odd without being off-putting, it's no wonder one enjoys being part of Santigold's world of make-believe, even for a little while.

CHECK OUT THIS TRACK: It's been out for a while as a single, but "Disparate Youth" resonates with contemporary youth's issues in addition to being a bangin' tune.


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