It was around this time that Santogold changed her name to Santigold to avoid a law suit; she has released her debut album about a year prior and it was, y’know, really good.
Then she toured with Coldplay resulting in a collective “what the f–k?!?”.
Somehow, though things have come full cycle – starting off about a year ago, we first heard the co-lab with the aforementioned Yeah Yeah Yeah vocalist Karen O – which is now the opening track to the long-long awaited Santigold sophomore; the track in this new context has new life breathed into it – it’s exciting and anticipatory with it’s breakneck drums, echoed by ay-ay-ay-ay chants that are as tribal as they are militia.
Nick Zinner, in fact, co-writes over a third of this album with Santi White; and while producer John Hill pretty much co-wrote everything on her debut, he’s only involved on a couple of tracks here; the ever-so-slightly annoying Freak Like Me with it’s Minaj impersonation and the gloriously eighties pop-jungle-tight-fit of The Keepers.
TVOTR’s Dave Sitek gets amongst it too; a quasi-post-dubstep flourish lifts Fame into a stratosphere; while subtracted tropics descend and deconstruct around This Isn’t Our Parade to make it the hidden gem in the centre.
While Karen O only actually appears once on this record – it’s like the ghost of her lives on in many of the subsequent tracks; in a really good way.
Current single Disparate Youth is a triumph of a tune – everything a great pop song sound be; weird enough to capture attention; catchy enough to hold it – an electric guitar zap motif counterpoints Santi’s languid-paced croon – a mid-point double-time break fights against her lazy drawl to pure perfection. So. Freaking. Great.
Former Geggy Tah and one-half of The Bird and the Bee slips in with another gorgeous slowburner – The Riot’s Gone – where vocals and percussion combine in the latter half in something close to genius. A quasi-reggae swing is adopted in Pirate in the Water while something quite mental is discovered in Look At These Hoes. I love it.
- review by Andrew Tidball