Can’t Get Enough of Santi
Santigold is back with 99¢. The album doesn’t limit itself to a sound, but is a mix largely focusing on a playful pop beat incorporating reggae, rap, and an 80s style into various tracks.
The first single, “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” seems to play on the egocentric culture of the youth. The video starts off like a commercial but is going through her day as she ends up at a diner. She puts us on blast with the things we idolize like phones, shopping, and ourselves. “All I wanna do is bottle it to sell, ’Cause my brand of vainglory is much better for your health.” That defines our youth. Individuals branding a fabulous lifestyle through social media that we must share. Similar to the concept behind Beyonce’s “Feeling myself” but in a sarcastic way, Santi practically created an anthem for our youth. The song is really upbeat and poppy, kind of contagious.
“Who Be Lovin’ Me” featuring iLoveMakonnen gives more of a hip-hop vibe. The beat has a light percussion where Santi raps in her vocals. Flowing in a relative direction “Run the Races” has percussion with a soft beat but her vocals do a complete turn around with a more melancholy sound.
The album hops around between downbeat and upbeat tracks, possibly for effect or because of the various producers on 99¢. Santi switches gears following with “Who I Thought You Were.” A bouncy song that hits on the consumer theme again. That seems to be the consistent factor on the album. The song definitely has a new wave approach just like “Rendezvous Girl.” A dancy track with upbeat 80s feels that compels you to move.
“Chasing Shadows” is one of the best songs, if not the best song on the album. Musically, it has a delicate sound, superbly arranging the soft piano keys with a drum beat you can’t help but tap your foot to. Simple tunes that are formulated to perfectly flow. The vocals are a cross between her reggae style, rapping and a vulnerable tone. The song itself is about chasing a dream that you can never catch. The song is tricky, its sensitive nature is portrayed in her video where Santi is home alone watching the world outside of her window. It’s really sad thinking of aspiring to a goal you wanted but the road seems lonely. “Always knew I’d be international, no fear of flying. Limousines, big people, their parties, but I’m on an island.” You can’t help but wonder if that’s what she feels in this life of entertainment.
99¢ is ironically focused on the transitions of everything being branded. Santigold made a statement with this album. She’s selling us her idea, not the “old broke dream they been sellin’”. It’s emotional, yet honest.