Thursday, July 17, 2008

Santogold at Central Park Summerstage

I've been writing about pop music for a long time, and not much inspires me these days. So when an artist as hype as Santi White aka Santogold comes along, I have to give her props. In fact Santi's music reminds me so much of some of my teen new wave favorites (Missing Persons, Blondie, Siouxsie and the Banshees), I might actually make it to a Central Park Summerstage concert.

Below read my music review for Barnes & on White's solo debut:

As Santogold, Santi White, the scribe behind Res’ revelatory, alt-hip-hop-soul debut, How I Do, steps into the limelight -- or better yet, the streetlight, since much of her music is meant to be cranked decibels high ‘til the wee hours. This is not White’s first time rockin’ the mic -- she fronted the punk-y band Stiffed -- but as Santogold she’s, well, golden. The self-titled disc kicks off with the synthesized crescendo “L.E.S. Artistes,” on which she sounds like a ringer for Missing Persons singer Dale Bozzio. Throughout the disc, the Philly native winks at her influences without sounding derivative: Musical Youth on the rude girl, staccato protest “Unstoppable”; Siouxsie & the Banshees on the brooding “Anne”; Cocteau Twins on “I’m a Lady,” layered with bass and synths. Tellingly, the wailing, bhangra beat-laden “Creator” and a crushing, hiccupping remix of “You’ll Find a Way” will undoubtedly draw comparisons to M.I.A. White’s infectious blend of new wave sonics and contemporary beats (“Starstruck” hypnotically cross-pollinates ‘80s pop with new-millennium crunk) and witty lyrics (on “L.E.S. Artistes,” White describes herself as “an introverted excavator”), however, are worth their weight in gold. Tracy E. Hopkins, Barnes & Noble