Album review: Master of My Make-Believe – Santigold

After four years, Santigold hits back with a banging album featuring collaborations from Karen O, Diplo and the Portuguese-Angolan kuduru masters, Buraka Som Sistema.The album opens strongly with the M.I.A influenced, ‘GO!’ featuring Karen O. The repetitive bass thumps akin to a stampede through the jungle. Santigold’s vocals whip you up into a frenzy, proving itself worthy as a first single.  ‘Disparate Youth,’ has a clever mix of guitars, backing vocals and an interesting message about the complacency of youth, demonstrating Santigold’s ability to be also lyrically beautiful.

‘This Isn’t Our Parade’ and ‘The Riot’s Gone’ express Santigold’s vulnerability, with lyrics like “I’ve been haunted all my life/ on the brink of something close/ people know that I write/know I’m grappling with a ghost” showing the fractures in her insane self-confidence. Coupled with her hollering and quasi-eerie vocals, it’s reminiscent of Florence Welch. ‘Big Mouth,’ produced and co-written by Buraka Som Sistema, is a perfect summer anthem. Its crazy kuduru beat is able to turn you into a manic dancing creature, craving its psychotic drum rhythm. ‘Look At These Hoes,’ is the closest track to her first album. It is perfectly produced (Diplo and Boys Noize) track, a standout, but not for the right reasons as it doesn’t mesh well with the rest of the album.

Comparing Santigold to M.I.A may seem lazy but the aesthetic and musical resemblance is uncanny. While M.I.A waxes lyrical about politics and woman power; Santigold takes a more laidback attitude, allowing the listener to fall into musical bliss. As a second album, it is less frantic than her first but an almost perfect follow-up. The military drums, reggae attitude and fun pop allow this album to be a perfect music festival companion. Hopefully your summer will be as colourful as this marvellous album!

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