Master of My Make-BelieveAlbum | Santigold By Chris Payne
A case of over-collaboration.
When budding pop star Santi White released her debut in 2008, the “new M.I.A.” hype was certainly worth believing. Along with expert songwriter John Hill (who’s written for musicians ranging from John Williams to Rihanna), White tossed bits of synth-pop, reggae, punk, and dancehall into a bubbling cauldron and emerged with a brew of futuristic pop that was as addictive as it was inventive. Four years later, Santigold’s sound and aesthetic haven’t changed much, though the result certainly has. On Master of My Make-Believe, White collaborates with a host of superstar producers (including Diplo, Boyz Noise, Dave Sitek and Q-Tip); the outcome is a slew of cut-and-paste efforts that are long on ambition, but short on replay value. Save for the punk-gone-pop opener “Go!” (which features vocals and guest production from Karen O) and the tight pop number “The Keepers,” Make-Believe is bogged down with too many muddling, mid-tempo songs that keep it from building any real momentum. For a career that started out so promisingly (“L.E.S. Artistes” was an undeniable debut single), it seems Ms. White has fallen victim to the dreaded delayed follow-up and a case of over-collaboration.