The Austin Chronicle

Phases & Stages

Reviewed by Darcie Stevens, April 25, 2008, Music



Santi White has been hailed as visionary, creative, genre-bending, and inventive – America's answer to M.I.A. – but despite Santogold's bloggorific buzz, her eponymous debut, while diverse, is no revolution. Aside from dubbed-up standout "Shove It," the Philly native and former A&R rep forgoes 24 karat for gold filler. Opener "L.E.S. Artistes" could be a Yeah Yeah Yeahs outtake, "Creator" and "Unstoppable" water down Maya Arulpragasam's politics, "My Superman" oozes Siouxsie Sioux, and "I'm a Lady" sews the three into a well-dressed, hypnotic frock. It might seem lazy to pull the comparison card, but the inflections are impossible to ignore. Santogold's nothing more than catchy, simple, dance-worthy trivia that the kids will probably eat up with both hands whether on the dance floor, falling in love, breaking up, trying on American Apparel deep-Vs, or experimenting. There's nothing offensive to speak of, just pure product. Don't let the "indie" label fool you.


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