Santigold seems to dwell in that most unfortunate of places – too pop for the arty crowd but too weird for the mainstream. ‘99¢’ is unlikely to do anything to change that, but it just means that we’re lucky enough to get her all to ourselves.
Like all of her albums before (‘Santogold’, ‘Master Of My Make Believe’), how much you enjoy ‘99¢’ is directly correlated with your tolerance of Santigold’s vocals. On tracks such as the lead single, ‘Can’t Get Enough Of Myself’, it has an infectious zip and vivacity, but on some of the slower numbers has a tendency to be a bit hectoring and shrill.
The record is packed with great tunes, though. iLoveMakonnen lends his laid-back vocals to the positively horizontal ‘Who Be Lovin’ Me’, and ‘Rendezvous Girl’ is the best theme tune for a spy film there never was. Santigold is at her best when the production behind her has plenty of Caribbean-inflected bounce but throughout ‘99¢’, she proves that she deserves more success than she gets.
Words: Joe Rivers
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