Review: Santigold – Master of My Make Believe
Published on May 3rd, 2012 | Jonny Abrams
Philadelphia singer-songwriter Santi White, hailed by the NME as “Queen of All Pop 2008”, returns with a second album that succeeds in revelling in its own eccentricity while at the same time keeping itself grounded in broad appeal with a glittering array of collaborators and her own compelling, M.I.A.-like drawl.
Opener “GO!” (featuring Karen O and co-produced by Q-Tip) sets out Santigold’s stall for filthy, future-minded pop with attitudinal yet canny lyrics (“People want my power / And they want more station / Stormed my winter palace / But they couldn’t take it”) while some ghostly synth screeches and whirs away in the background, before pleasingly plinky single “Disparate Youth” gives reverby reggae chords a shuffly-beated ride towards the military, string-stab-punctuated “God from the Machine”.
Elsewhere, enjoyment lurks in the popping, lascivious oddness of “Freak Like Me” (not a cover!), the glacially contemplative “This Isn’t Our Parade”, the sunset feel of “The Riots Gone”, the jittery skank of “Pirate in the Water” (co-produced by Diplo), the pulsing ’80s electro-pop of “The Keepers” and the sparse, grimy din of “Look at These Hoes”.
Closer “Big Mouth” throws in some odd backing vocals and a clattering beat, transforms itself into something quite berserk, and leaves you feeling rather pleased at what you’ve just been subjected to. She may not be the Queen of All Pop, but Master of My Make Believe sees Santigold double up as a master of her trade.
Rocksucker says: Three and a Half Quails out of Five!