Santigold’s new album Master Of My Make-Believe released on April 23rd is the highly anticipated new record by singer-songwriter Santi White, four years after her debut album, Santogold. After a swift name change – to avoid being sued by the director of Santo Gold’s Blood Circus, a wrestling-themed science fiction film from the 80s – she’s back!
The current single ‘Disparate Youth’ contains a mix of heavy electric guitar and synthpop beats and backing vocals to create a toe-tappingly modern tune. However, the opening lines “don’t look ahead, there’s stormy weather” could be related to Santigold’s music career if the popularity of this track is anything to go by. Despite receiving considerable airplay on UK radio, it has failed to make a significant position in the charts which could be Santigold’s main problem. In a recent interview with NME, she stated that she “hates” many of the current musicians storming the charts such as LMFAO and David Guetta, stating that she does not want to be like them. If Santigold was to take a leaf out of their book, there would be more singles, but would it make for a better album?
In my opinion, not at all, as it becomes clear that Santigold has remained herself and that Master Of My Make-Believe is another good, individualistic album. The closest Santigold comes to other artists around at the moment is the Nicki Minaj-style rapping on ‘Look At These Hoes’ but this is still miles apart from anything on Pink Friday and is completely different from any of the other tracks on this record. The album combines flurries of electro beats with punky-rebellious lyrics and Caribbean instruments to make a delectable fusion of exciting tracks. Opening song ‘GO!’ provides a quick tempo start to the album, featuring Karen O from Yeah Yeah Yeahs, whilst in ‘Fame’ she wails “we don’t want the fame!”
‘This Isn’t Our Parade’ and ‘The Riots Gone’ are slower, more reflective and emotional tracks where Santigold shows off her voice with soothing results. One of my favourite tracks on the album, ‘The Keepers’, impresses with a pop beat and catchy backing vocals, singing a thought-provoking chorus of “We’re the keepers, while we sleep in America / our house is burning down, our house is burning”.
This genreless album plays well as a collection of tracks, and easily makes a statement in its own right. Some would argue that it is not as good as her critically acclaimed debut album but in my eyes, it meets the same high standard. A mix of genres, original instrumentation and a distinct voice sets this album apart from others in the current music industry, but at a time when all musicians are pushing the boundaries to be as different as possible, I fear that this album does not have quite as much of a punch as her debut album did back in 2008.