REVIEW: SANTIGOLD – MASTER OF MY MAKE-BELIEVE (2012)
Reinforcing our reach in Los Angeles comes our latest contributor Suisa! Rooted in the alternative realm thanks to the likes of Smashing Pumpkins, Weezer and Rage Against the Machine, Suisa lends her pen to join Mezzic contributing album reviews and concert coverage. Welcome to Mezzic, Suisa!
Yes, it’s been four years since her last album, but Santigold (real name, Santi White) hasn’t been on vacation. She has collaborated with numerous artists since her spectacular debut in 2008. This includes Kanye West, Julian Casablancas, Pharrell Williams, Lykke Li, Sam Endicott, the Beastie Boys, and M.I.A, to whom she is frequently compared. White has acknowledged the comparison between her and M.I.A., and stated that it was due to both women’s eclectic influences. This is definitely apparent in Master Of My Make-Believe. While her style is still the same, she seems to have gained confidence and branched out a little more. Her new album seems to glide from one track to another with much more ease than her last, with each song just as good as the previous one. This shows how much she has grown from “Santogold” which, while being an absolute success, was a little more inconsistent.
Santigold didn’t start out as a musician. Originally, as a music major from Wesleyan University, she worked a bit further up in the industry as a writer and not a performer. She grew up listening to reggae and jazz, and on top of that, it didn’t surprise me to learn that she studied Cuban and West African traditional drumming while attending Wesleyan. Songs like, GO!, Fame, Freak Like Me, and This Isn’t Our Parade have a distinct traditional sound to them. She has said that a lot of how she writes music is based on rhythm, and that she is very interested in how the bass and drums interact. All of this, on top of the experimental music classes she has taken, come together for a very intriguing mix of music.
The lyrics on her sophomore album have definitely changed tune. Before, they seemed to be a lot more personal and relatable, but this time, she touches more on fame, money, and politics. The single, “Disparate Youth” is particularly political. Denying it being a political album, she says it’s more about “being a human in this time.” She has definitely captured the energy and restlessness of the past four years.
I am really into the direction Santigold is taking. She is definitely growing and branching out in good directions. Her new album is a mix of M.I.A. and Lykke Li with an AfroCuban twist. However, she has definitely got a style and attitude all her own. With the way her album meanders from mood to mood, touches on so many topics and emotions, and all within 37 minutes, it’s a good contribution to this summers soundtrack.