When we were introduced to the infectious and innovative fusion of New Wave, dub and electronica four years ago on Santogold (as she was then known), Santi White struck a nerve with critics and crowds around the globe.
The concern with creating a genre is that your next step is crucial, which is probably a worthy explanation of why Santigold took an Olympics lapse between her debut and its successor. How does one tread the tightrope without falling into either hipster wank or selling out? The answer on Master of My Make-Believe…is effortlessly.
MOMM-B is every bit as creative as its predecessor, but this time provides more consistency. Producers Diplo and John Hill have been retained, but this time aided by Greg Kurstin (Lily Allen, Foster The People, Sia, Ladyhawke.) This time, the record sounds more like one unified genre, as opposed to songs from different genre songs shoved together.
We’ve already been treated to the Karen-O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) featured GO! and album highlight “Disparate Youth” as singles, but the gems are a dime a dozen here. Kurstin works his production magic on the catchy God from the Machine, while This Isn’t Our Parade could be Santigold’s best song to date. Swinging madly between solemnly gothic and proudly pop via calypso, it is percussion heavy and seductive. In the wrong hands, it would have been a hot mess.
The only problem MOMM-B faces is the absence of a sure-fire hits like Lights Out and L.E.S. Artistes, the latter which won my Song Of The Year in 2008. “Santigold catapults herself into credible pop stardom with this instant classic about dealing with, well, instant stardom. “I can say I hope it will be worth what I give up.” It certainly has been for us Santi. The beat is intense, the chorus is the aural equivalent of cocaine and the only thing I hate about it is the effort of re-selecting it on my iPod immediately after it finishes.”
Despite this, MOMM-B is fresh, polished and further indicative that Santi White is more than the Master of her Make-Believe, she’s the Master of Modern Pop. 4 stars.
Key Tracks: This Isn’t Our Parade, The Riot’s Gone, Disparate Youth, God from The Machine