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Santogold

Whoever came up with genre classifications for music obviously never heard of Santogold. The alarmingly catchy self-titled debut by Philly native Santi White offers an endless cache of crossover tunes ranging from indie pop, punk/ska, and dub reggae to new wave and electro club. In many cases, the genre-busting aural fusion echoes within individual tracks. From the first guitar chord of "L.E.S. Artistes" to the final crisp snare in "You'll Find a Way (Switch & Sinden Remix)," this concise package draws you in and keeps you guessing, ready to hear what will be thrown your way next. Producer/guitarist J. Hill sets the tone of the rockier numbers like "Say Aha," "L.E.S. Artistes," and "Lights Out" while Diplo and Switch provide beats and knob-tweaking know-how for electro-clash bangers "Creator," "Unstoppable," and the album's strongest contender, "Starstruck." Throughout the album, Santi's voice sounds just as good sing-jaying over a trancehall riddim as it does power-ballading along with songs that have pop crossover appeal. Chock-full of bright tunes, these versatile tracks are a marketer's wet dream — "Creator" has already earned a prime-time Bud Light Lime spot. Let's hope Santogold concentrates on making more great music and avoids the green-paved path of other critically acclaimed releases (ahem, Feist), whose ditties got pimped out to any ad exec who came a-knocking.

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Braden Ruddy

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