Master of My Make-Believe
May 04, 2012 Web Exclusive
Santi White starts her sophomore album with explosive momentum, opening with a Karen O collaboration appropriately titled “GO!”—the full caps and exclamation point are necessary to demonstrate how hard and fast it hits—featuring an incessant drum beat and nutty, high-pitched electronic vocals singing backup to her tribal rap-chanting. What comes after on Master of My Make-Believe lands with a bit of a thud in contrast; lots of filler propped up by a few far-out pop jams, possessing as many ups and downs as her 2008 debut record.
The thing with Santigold—previously Santogold, having swapped a vowel possibly to avoid a lawsuit—is that her music’s so much more fascinating when it’s at its most off-kilter. Instead, much of the album rolls at a similar pace to the downtempo single “Disparate Youth,” with its dub pulse and laid-back reggae flow. It just feels more, well, normal and blandly pop than the wackier rhythm-driven tracks, such as the drumline rocker “Big Mouth” or the bizarrely hypnotic “Freak Like Me.” Maybe she can try to let that freakiness we know is bubbling just under the surface—just look at that zany cover art—shine through more on the next one. (www.santigold.com)
Author rating: 5/10
Average reader rating: 8/10