Santogold: Santogold

"Me, I'm a creator / thrill is to make it up / the rules I break got me a place up on the radar." Those lyrics—from the M.I.A.-aping track "Creator," off of Santogold's self-titled debut—smack of wearisome indie-hop posturing. But when nestled amid songs that liberally pluck bits from new wave, indie rock, dub, post-punk, and a host of other influences, the boast rings true, and validates Santogold's next-big-thing status. Santogold (a.k.a. songwriter Santi White, who has worked as a hired gun for popsters Lily Allen and Ashlee Simpson) manages to weave together a strange amalgam of tracks that sound almost nothing alike, yet are unmistakably part of the same whole. Credit goes in part to her distinctive voice and ace production from collaborator John Hill, plus a sprinkling of hotshot knob-turners like Diplo and Switch, but Santogold's relentless disregard for genre boundaries in the service of a stellar pop song is the real glue that holds the album together. Though at times it threatens to become overbearing in its eclecticism, Santogold's solid lyricism and pop sensibility keep the album from disappearing up its own ass. Her concern lies more with party-starting than cred-boosting.

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