After a successful career writing songs for others, Santi White, then going as Santogold, burst onto the scene in 2008 with the “L.E.S Artistes” single as well as the S/T debut. Buzzing with highlights such as “Lights Out”, “Unstoppable” and “I’m a Lady”, the debut went a long way in establishing Santi as a prime contender in the sophisticated dance pop ring. Four years later, with one name change under her belt as well as a Chuck Taylor advert and numerous commercial audio pop ups, she appears with her sophomore release Master Of My Make Believe.
Make Believe gets off to a rousing start with one of her strongest tracks in “Go!” Featuring Karen O, the menacing opening leads into Marylyn Manson like military drumming before it suddenly veers to 80s pop punk… and that’s just the first 45 seconds. First single, “Disparate Youth” continues the winning trick and is another standout. The track has moves similar to “L.E.S Artiste” as it seems just a bit too slow for the dance floor but one sure to get heads nodding. After this, the album gets a bit murky as tracks such as “Fame” and “Freak Like Me” are more curiosities and the pace really slows down with several mid tempo numbers (though “The Riot’s Gone” is one of the strongest tracks on the album). “The Keepers” gets things back on track and sounds like an updated version of Kim Wilde’s “Kids in America” with an equally infectious chorus.
There’s a lot of good on Masters Of My Make Believe as it boasts possibly three of the best tracks of the year. However pacing becomes an issue and like the debut, there’s a few songs that are easily skipped over. Still, Santigold continues to produce intelligent dance music and this album is a welcome return by one of the coolest girls around.