'Master of My Make Believe' offers something riveting, fresh and entirely unique after Santigold’s 4-year hiatus. Santi creates a hybrid of sound with a blend of pop, hip-hop, reggae, electronica and new wave. One can’t place a title on her sound: it’s simply nuts.
Packing a punch from start to finish the energetic collection indicates her music alone still speaks volumes, unlike other commercially viable female artists who have emerged in her absence.
The powerful grunting battle-like chants and rumbling percussion build to a crescendo in opening track 'Go', with Santigold’s signature screeching vocals, setting the album’s precedent dangerously high.
'Disparate Youth' boasts a wonderfully plinky dubstep tinged melody with 80s elements from futuristic synthesisers and Pat Benetar-esque shouts. 'The Keepers' also has that throwback nod to the era.
Electronic, pulsing fat beats in 'Fame' make it an instantly likeable song with rebellious lyrics written to be screamed at the top of one’s lungs, while it’s hard not to smile when she chirps the gentile childlike lyrics of 'Freak Like Me' - if there are any qualms it’s that the 2-minute track is over too soon.
Sombre 'The Riot’s Gone' has Santi’s shouts reduced to softly spoken decibels with Yeah Yeah Yeah member Nicholas Zinner's production evident and the spaced out vibe of 'Pirate In The Water' is one track reminiscent of her previous album’s sound. 'Look At These Hoes' also echoes her eponymous 2008 album too with a chaotic frenzied clash of beats.
Santigold has offered a brilliant piece of storytelling that takes a listener on a journey from revolt to recuperation over the space of 38 short minutes. In places the sound is jagged and raucous, empowering a listener and in others it is scarily mellow. Diplo’s influence shines through in places such as the Major Lazer sounding track 'Big Mouth'.
She definitely went in an entirely different direction with this album, but musically it pays off: welcome back Santigold!