Showing posts with label santigold. Show all posts
Showing posts with label santigold. Show all posts

Sunday, March 6, 2016

video review: '99¢' by santigold

Well, this took entirely too long to come out. Still a solid record, but it really did require a lot to get done.

Next up, probably Kendrick or LMNO - or both, if I have time. Stay tuned!

album review: '99¢' by santigold

So here's a piece of an argument that I really can't stand: 'well, it's better because he or she did it first', the idea that something is inherently superior because the creator might have been the one to imagine or realize it before anyone else. I get the principle behind this argument - you could argue that building off an established sound requires less work than inventing something brand new - but it can also discount when an artist takes an established foundation in a direction that even the originator never could.

In the case of Santigold, however, it might be one of the rare cases when you can see the ripple effects of her music spanning the past several years of pop music, where she was just ahead of the punch. She started off as the frontwoman of the punk band Stifled, which released two albums in the mid-2000s, but by the time she dropped her solo debut Santogold in 2008, you'd never know, as it blew through synthpop, reggae, and much of the electronic textures that would come to dominate mainstream pop for the next five years. The immediate and most common comparison is M.I.A., but I found Santigold much more likable, partially because she has a great grasp of melody and tightness in her writing, and partially because her writing had a deft touch that might not be as vibrantly scattershot as M.I.A., but ultimately felt more cohesive and considered. Now I found that debut to be pretty uneven at points - and yet when she came back with Master Of My Make-Believe in 2012, I'd argue it's one of the best pop records of that year. The writing and grooves were so well-realized, balancing electronic and organic amazingly well, it was an album that won me over fast, even if I do think the energy fades a bit in the final tracks.

So in other words, after four years of being out of the spotlight, and with the knowledge that Santigold has the sort of forward-thinking production that could take her in a fascinating direction, I was definitely on board here. So what do we get on 99¢?