Santigold ‘99 ¢’ album review

Samantha Lopez Arts & Entertainment Contributor

There’s no denying that we as people love to consume products, particularly in mass quantities and especially to validate ourselves in the eyes of our neighbors.

This is exactly what Santigold explores in her third full-length album.

99¢ tackles consumerism and commercialism as wholes, from corporate America to personal branding and everything between.

Over the course of 12 tracks, Santigold is able to create a colorful collection of songs that all teeter on being genre-less without losing unity.

The album aims to explore our self-obsessed culture, but does so in a humble and non-judgemental way. The opening track “Can’t Get Enough of Myself” begins with a secluded and melodic doo-wop sound.

Then, out of nowhere, a heavy beat rolls into the picture, accompanied with flutes and baritone saxophones that induce a bopping up and down feeling.  

Instrumentally, the album varies dramatically in arrangement. This is most likely because Santigold has a production crew that includes people like Zeds Dead, Rostam Batmanglij, Hit-Boy, and Dave Sitek.

99¢ is filled with instant club banger classics like, “Big Boss Time Business” which follows the tradition of Santigold’s previous track that use consolidated beats and feminist rally cries.

However, the moment the album really comes all together is on the track “Banshee” — an absolute gem of a song, co-written by Cathy Dennis, who’s responsible for writing hits like “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” by Kylie Minogue and “Toxic” by Britney Spears.

The song is hyper-positive, self-aware and happy-pill remedy inducing with its perky synths and bubbly handclaps.  

Those listening to an album of dance hits do not need a reminder that it’s okay to sweat off their worries on a dancefloor.

Santigold reminds them of that with 99¢ because she’s able to create 12 standalone hits that romp through dancehall, trap, electronica, and beyond. This is topped off  with lyrics of female empowerment, self-righteousness and a can-do spirit.

Santigold is a musical melting pot and she aims to create music for the world at large about the world itself.

We as a society are driven by the commercial nature of our lifestyles, our obsession with perfection and our inability to reach it. The point Santigold aims to make is that you can find balance among all these things.

The fickle genres of 99¢ prove that Santigold is challenging the rules of pop, while bettering herself at the same time. Santigold’s new album shows growth that defines her unapologetically bold sound — and it’s shone effortlessly.

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