Santigold
Master of My Make-Believe


3.5
great

Review

by Jake C. Taylor USER (90 Reviews)
April 28th, 2012 | 20 replies | 7,759 views


Release Date: 2012 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Master of My Make-Believe, though warmer and shadier, is still only a stone’s throw from the fantastic debut dropped by Santigold four years ago.

5 of 5 thought this review was well written

Through Santigold’s eyes, the world is full of possibility, but a damaging portion of resistance arrogantly broods amid an inevitable impediment from the youth and the “99%”. Indeed, this is Master of My Make-Believe’s quasi-concept, and perhaps one that Santi did not intend pursue while holidaying/making her new album in the basking sun of Jamaica, for she strays from it regularly and wildly. But with all the riots, rebellions and uproars of socialism and equality, tumultuous times are evidently the perfect antidote for writer’s block. And though warmer, conceptually heavier and slightly shadier than 2008′s Santogold, this new work bulges at the rim with her aromatic blend of styles: namely reggae and dub, whirled together with synths, cool bass, delay and sunset reverbs. As she aptly illustrates, it’s akin to the sound of old reggae played through a Jet Ski’s speaker, infusing its “distorted and grinding” tone. The explosive opener “GO!” puts this view into practice with over compressed offbeat jabs and sinister synth lines, making it even more suggestive of M.I.A.’s schizophrenia, though, as always, less politically ambitious. This is about as far as she makes us delve before veering back towards her cordial 2008 sounds, taking the grind and distortion to season with.

Throughout, she relies on the vision of others to pull her dreams into focus; most of these collaborations work in the album’s favour. “Disparate Youth” – featuring hooks from Nick Zinner (Yeah Yeah Yeahs) – is flagged by a strong back beat, burly bass lines and background buzz, forming its main progression. It’s smoothly lit by an infections delay-like piano during the chorus which is heralded by the reaffirming words “a life worth fighting for”. Put simply, the song is quite easily one of her best. “This Isn’t Our Parade” and “The Riot’s Gone” also benefit from Zinner’s input. In both, Santi sings innocently, informing us of greener pastures ahead whilst being matched by calming and reflective (yet still punchy) music, all of which is channelled towards climaxes never quite reached – it leaves you wanting more. “Pirate in the Water” – the only successful Diplo production available – harvests square bass, stuttering “nah, nah’s, nahs” and 8 bit console melodies in unison to bring us out of this soft centre and back into familiar territory.

The only time she’s quelled, is when she loses touch with the likes of “Fame” and the later out-of-place Nicki Minaj imitation, “Look at These Hoes”. Both feature promising urbanised (albeit tacky) beats and eccentric vocal articulations. On the surface Santi is appeasing her suspicions toward self-perpetuated fame and fortune, but despite her efforts they don’t work anywhere near as well as they need to alongside other percussive stabs like “The Keepers” or the zesty “Big Mouth”. But regardless of this, Master of My Make-Believe garners an overall level of cohesion that exerts less vigour as her debut, only to make up for it in other departments. The familiar productions from John Hill, Switch and Greg Kurstin, scatter differing flavours into most tracks, presenting a dynamic production quality that Santogold lacked. And unlike Santogold, whose best moments fondled gold in one-off luminous glam, Master of My Make-Believe requires a more thorough listen to fully appreciate the subtleties that hide amongst its music and lyrics. Some will appreciate this bearing, others may not. Nevertheless, Santi knows exactly how to generate a poised collection of feel-good tunes, even if they’re not all meant to make you feel good – it’s really just the side effect of her amiable music.



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user ratings (80)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
taylormemer
April 27th 2012



4916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

So close to being a 4. So very, very close. My 3.5 has morphed into my previous 4 over the years.

Also posted here: http://www.thealtreview.net/2012/04/27/santigold-master-of-my-make-believe/

Disparate Youth: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mIMMZQJ1H6E

Stream: http://www.npr.org/2012/04/22/150801600/first-listen-santigold-master-of-my-make-believe#playlist

Deviant.
Staff Reviewer
April 27th 2012



31053 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

If only the blue skies were blue, then this would be spinning daily

Digging: Marcel Dettmann - Fabric 77

MaskAtTheMasquerade
April 28th 2012



2887 Comments


definitely gonna check this out

MO
April 28th 2012



18442 Comments


great review mems

Digging: Immolation - Dawn of Possession

LittleSampson
April 28th 2012



28 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I'm more into the album than you, but really good review.

"The Keepers" is so goddamn good.

taylormemer
April 28th 2012



4916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Woah damn. Didn't realise this got the feats. I think I know who to blame. Cheers everyone.

AliW1993
Contributing Reviewer
April 28th 2012



7322 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I was surprised how much I liked this. Good review!

TheFonz123
April 28th 2012



2795 Comments


A.R.T.I.S.T.E was my jam

qwe3
April 28th 2012



21355 Comments


is there anything as good as unstoppable on here

xfearbefore
April 28th 2012



1245 Comments


Loved this chick's first album so much, can't wait to check this out. Review is good stuff too.

AtavanHalen
April 29th 2012



17927 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

it's actually disparate not desperate

it's in the tracklisting and the video you posted

taylormemer
April 29th 2012



4916 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Oh hey I completely missed that. Simple and honest mistake. Cheers for the pickup, though not a lot can be done about it at the moment. Regardless I'm pretty sure the review will survive with two letters wrong. Have you heard this by any chance?

Also are you going to review Nightflight? I'm still yet to hear it but I hear it's good.

LE0Night
April 29th 2012



36 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Agree with everything but putting Fame in a negative. Surprised Big Mouth got as much shit as it did.

Also, Nicki Manaj.

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1

JJwins
April 29th 2012



641 Comments


is this any good?

Shoegazer29
April 29th 2012



22 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

Good review of a good album. I am slightly disappointed that we waited 4 years for an album that I can only call "good," and not great or game-changing like I was hoping. But such is the curse of high expectations, I suppose.

bbdmittenz
April 29th 2012



218 Comments


Just wait until Earl + Santigold.

kevinweeks
May 2nd 2012



59 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I like how this is a much more cohesive album than her debut.

I don't like the lack of singjaying/cat-screeching that was in Creator. I demand that on all Santigold tracks.

bungy
May 12th 2012



8843 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

This has a few superb songs. The Riot's Gone is probably my favorite

TheGoon
October 29th 2012



7 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

Whereas her first album felt like a compilation of REALLY really strong singles out of different styles, this one delivers an amazing and quite cohesive fusion of styles into one amazing album. The progression from the first to second album here worked quite well and I look forward to see where she's heading next. Aside from GO and Big Mouth I really felt the album was quite flawless in exection. GO felt more suited for her first album and Big Mouth seemed more like it should of been a Bonus Track to me.

808muzik
January 14th 2013



938 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I should probably check out her first if it's better than this.

Digging: FKA twigs - LP1



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