Friday, 12 December 2008

Say Aha - Santogold

Santogold (née Santi White) is a music industry insider, so it is no surprise that her musical output be so polished and consummate. It would be unfair to describe her oeuvre as ‘pop’; Santogold has a contemporary aspect on music, bestriding various genres and approaches. What she is trying to achieve is an eradication of genre, of classification. Her music challenges the notion that you cannot find art in the stultifying confines of a genre, particularly one as traditional and conservative as ‘pop’.
Latest single “Say Aha” is a bass heavy, groove oriented dancehall meets pop number, ornamented with ska style 2 Tone keyboards. It has a sound vaguely reminiscent of No Doubt or Gwen Stefani’s solo work, but the production captures the space and echo of Ark style dub. They certainly share many of the same reference points (new wave icons mixed with 80s sirens such as Grace Jones) and Santogold’s raucous vibrato vocal line strikes a similar chord.
Keenly aware that repetition is the key to any successful pop song, “Say Aha” sticks to the form. Santogold’s songs are brimming with ideas, but “Say Aha” is lacking in the invention that characterises her other works. The overall impression is strangely clinical, as if the song is a mere essay in the formula.

This article was originally produced for To read the music review of Say Aha by Santogold on the site, please click on the article title.

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