When most people hear Santigold’s music, they are reminded of trendy phone commercials and overly dramatic “Gossip Girl” scenes. Her music has been featured on “90210,” “Melrose Place” and even “Grey’s Anatomy.” It is as if the songs are tailored towards the show. Santigold’s “99 cents,” however, breaks away from mainstream pop, and instead, uses eclectic sounds to dissect society from afar.
Throughout “99 Cents,” Santigold takes on the role of the common consumer to mock society for it’s inherent obsession with ourselves and fame. In “Who Be Lovin Me” with ILoveMakonnen, there is a war between both artists to see who is the most popular. Santigold expressed that “she got her name in lights right now” all around the world. While ILoveMakonnen emphasizes that he is quite popular among the ladies, it is quite funny to see the two artists go at it. Both artists parody how other artists often argue on social media to see who is the most popular. The upbeat chorus and Santigold’s echoes that back-up the verses add a hint of playfulness to this track, and the different elements of the songs flow together well.
Santigold continues with this theme of self-obsession and preservation with the most obvious hint, titled “Can’t Get Enough of Myself.” The reggae-beats, backed with the organ and bass guitars, slips casually into the pop arena. In this track, she reflects on her career — she is proud and would “put money on herself.” When listening to this catchy song, it is hard not to tap your feet.
The unforgettable dance music Santigold has always made has been so unique from all other popular and indie artists that it has reserved her spot as the top quirky-artist in our hearts. This is a reputation that Santigold makes fans never forget. In “Banshee,” her light drumming and clapping, along with the repeated verses, sets up the perfect dance track. Santigold talks about a little banshee – the little angel on your shoulder – that urges you to slow down on all the partying. For some verses in the track, she begins to rap, which she is pretty good at. It is clear that Santigold is having an internal battle throughout the song, something that we will all face in our college careers.
It isn’t a Santigold album without a track from a popular movie. This album includes songs that were featured in the most recent Hunger Games movie, “Mockingjay, Part Two,” as well as “Paper Towns.” Just like most of Santigold’s songs, there is a magical aspect most obvious in “Shooting Arrows at the Sky.” This track, along with “Radio,” from “Paper Towns,” takes on a softer, slower beat that is unlike most of the other songs on “99 Cents.” Most of the songs on this album are rhythmically unified in some way, yet these two tracks, unlike the others, just pop up into the mix.
The album was a enjoyable listen. Santigold still retains her crown for reggae-pop. The upbeat and creative lyrics make “99 Cents” humorous and fun at the same time. She does experiment on this album with hip-hop and punk-rock with “Before the Fire” and “Outside the War.” Throughout the album, Santigold refines her style while expanding and trying new styles of music, and it meshes so well together.