Master of My Make-Believe [Album] (2012)
Forever and a day is how long it feels like it's been since Santi White dropped her explosive debut album, Santogold. Extreme over-exaggerating aside, it's taken exactly four (long) years for us to hear a sophomore album from our favourite genre-bending superstar and I'm more than happy to report that the wait has been well worth it. Over the past four years there have been name changes, big-time collaborations, leaks and mixtapes all keeping the name Santigold fresh enough in our minds and the buzz a-growing for Master of My Make-Believe. When the album's opening track, 'Go,' a fanboy-gasmic team-up with the Yeah Yeah Yeah's Karen O (the track finished the year at #6 on our Top 111 Songs of 2011 countdown), was leaked in April last year, all fears of a sophomore slump were washed away. Then 2011 went by with barely a word uttered about a release date and I'll admit, some of that excitement and positivity were diminished. Then 'Big Mouth' was unleashed upon the world in January of this year with barely any notice. Closing out the standard edition of Master of My Make-Believe, 'Big Mouth' stands as one of the best songs of 2012. Within the album, it shines as a triumphant closing number; a three minute assault of the senses that leaves you wanting more and more Santigold. In between the opening and closing numbers, virtually every song manages to leave a lasting impression. 'Disparate Youth' and 'The Keepers' are prime examples of how far Santi has come since her debut. Easily likable, more relaxed, incredibly catchy and a sign that she's aware of what she needed to improve upon from her debut (yeah... not that much). "We're the keepers, while we sleep in America," comes off way more anthemic than it should, but that's the power of Santigold. Surprisingly, Master of My Make-Believe finds much of its strength when Santigold slows it down. 'This Isn't Our Parade' is almost a sad song. A sad song? From Santigold? I know... but it's almost poignant in its own way, with a chorus and bridge that I'll be remembering for a long time. It's low-key moments like 'This Isn't Our Parade' and 'The Riot's Gone' that make the impact of 'Big Mouth' stand out even more. Overall, Master of My Make-Believe is a worthy successor to Santogold. It's far more cohesive, showcases a songwriter who's only grown stronger and is full of tracks designed to grow on you over time. I'm giving it four out of five now, but I'm pretty sure my tune will change throughout the course of the year. For the better of course.
Perth (Bon Iver cover)
by Avec Sans
Sometimes you can be checking things out on the internet, clicking on this and that which leads you to this and that and suddenly it’s six hours later and you need a drink and you haven’t discovered a thing. Other times you can find magical things, like I did this week, with this amazing cover of Bon Iver’s ‘Perth’. Avec Sans are a duo/collective/someone from London who are giving the internet very little information about themselves, but what I have discovered is that I love their version of this song! It’s not remotely folksy-Bon-Iver-like; it’s all synth, pop and a haunting female vocal. It flows beautifully, a sweet electronic cover, with just a hint of darkness to remind the listener of the original. There’s even a free download available on their website; avecsans.com! Yay, who doesn’t love a free download?! Avec Sans; who are you? More please!
Jo Michelmore gives 'Perth' three Karen O's out of five...
NEW MUSIC VIDEO OF THE WEEK
by Nicki Minaj
Album: Pink Friday: Roman Reloaded (2012)
Starships. It’s not fantastic, so I don’t know what I was expecting from the clip, but I’m not sure what to say about this one, it’s just a pop clip with no storyline and no pants. It starts like a fluorescent tourism commercial and then, well, it goes….nowhere. Actually, it’s reminiscent of a high school project, like the director demanded every special effect they know included in the hope that no one would notice the lack of sensibilities and style and instead concentrate on Minaj’s ass. Except, I did notice the lack of style and storyline. Ms Minaj, the thing is, I really want to like you and every now and then I do, but you keep being so bland it’s hard to remember why I wanted to like you in the first place. Er, you were meant to be a little bit innovative weren’t you? Do you think you could work on that? You’re not even so crap you’re funny, you’re just kind of dull. Right now the boredom is not so interesting. Neither is your lack of fashionability. Put some pants on, you’re no Gaga. Get back to me with your next clip and make it better. Thanks.
Jo Michelmore gives 'Starships' one Dannii Minogue out of five...