“Dolby’s Classic Album Status: Santigold – Santogold.”

Santigold’s debut album from 2008 [1] is an entity that speaks for itself. The most effective way to transmit its glory and magnitude will always be to just put it on, to take on the dynamic, harmonious elements of the opener “L.E.S. Artistes,” a song which combines rock guitar and bass, programmed drums and claps and gorgeous, siren-like female vocals. The unruly one-two punch of “Shove it (feat. Spank Rock)” and “Creator (vs. Switch and FreQ Nasty)” do damage to competitors on a cosmic level and “I’m a Lady (feat. Trouble Andrew)” is like a majestic sort of album bookend and beautiful kiss-off the feminine logic. 

I mean, this stuff is at an elite level: it’s universal music, it’s enjoyable and it’s RUDE. “Shove it” finds the emcee bit** talking sh** to any competitor like a wound-up, gangster Alvin the Chipmunk: “We think you’re a joke / Shove your hope where it don’t shine”. She reiterates the greatness of Brooklyn, her home, with the proclamation “It’s our time / Put the lights on us”. Incidentally, Brooklyn was killin’ it a monster way in indie rock around this time, with Dirty Projectors, Battles, Oxford Collapse and St. Vincent all in or around their primes and all administering something singular and vibrant unto the entire listening world. 

But this brings me to my next point: sometimes the listening world really drops the ball on music. And this really, especially pi**es me off in the case of Santigold, whose Santogold, in terms of quality and pop/radio appeal, should have done sales on the level of Jagged Little Pill. It even comes across more original, what’s more, than Morissette’s campire classic rock rehashes — Santogold is a futuristic module, toggling rock and rap at a breakneck pace and utilizing beats in a way that’s complimentary, not ham-handed or awkward. The beats are a complement to the primary songwriting which exists in melody and vocals, in other words. 

Along these lines, then, some seem to classify Santogold as an “indie rock” album, and while guitar does seem to splash on pretty much all the tracks and while she did play Lollapalooza ’09, or “The Million Indie Rock Band March,” if you prefer, I don’t think you can successfully call this stuff rock, on a documentary level. It’s just too expedited and brisk on its feet and what’s more almost always implicit of some digital aspects, with “You’ll Find a Way” flipping its game from “L.E.S. Artistes” and clambering in with live drums but a programmed bass sound. For all its originality and artistic leverage on the Brooklyn scene, this stuff plays as electro-pop, by and large, which, of course, makes it all the more enraging and maddening to behold that it’s not recognized as a classic (He**, it’s barely even recognized at all) in this age of mainstream autotune and corn-fed country gals trying to patent the term “sick beat.” 


[1] Spotify seems to have shoddily etched the project as a self-titled debut but the title is actually Santogold, according to Wikipedia, et. al. 


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