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Santogold “Santogold” Review

Published in Blog Archive, Culture Bully. Tags: , .

The initial draw of Santogold’s eponymous debut is heavily based on that of the album’s lead single, “L.E.S. Artistes,” a song that has enough widespread appeal to own up to the title of being this year’s “Crazy.” Having said that, the appeal of the remainder of the album comes from its ability to inflate various abstract pieces that are slowly beginning to epitomize modern popular music. I continually fall back to a thought that was raised by Soul Sides‘ Oliver Wang when he was evaluating last year’s Kala for NPR, relating the sounds of the album to a vastly more important trend, “At a time when globalization is both dissolving and reinforcing national identities, M.I.A.’s music speaks from a blurry borderland through a lingua franca of agitated, propulsive pop.” Maybe it is no coincidence then that M.I.A.’s friend Santi White has created something so closely related last year’s blockbuster. Santogold doesn’t have the genuine edginess of its equally hyped contemporary but it may serve as an urbanized equivalent to M.I.A.’s guerrilla manifesto. Equal parts reinvention and innovation Santogold is an album that is too easy to avoid yet too creative to ignore.