I loved Santi White’s first album; with it’s M.I.A.-style beats and accessible lyrics it was a girl-pop, hip hop joy. And her diplo-produced mixtape, Top Ranking: A Diplo Dub, is awesome. But her second studio album…Not as much. It felt a little too slick–which makes sense, since she got her start as an A&R rep for Epic Records.
But I still regularlylisten to songs like L.E.S. Artistes and You’ll Find A Way, so when I saw she’d dropped a new album–the first in several years–I had to give it a try. I’m glad I did. It’s nonstop pop, with appearances by several “bubbling under” artists. After appearing on their track, “Forever,” last year, iLoveMakonnen show up to support her. ‘s song, “Forever”. Vampire Weekend’s Rostam Batmanglij helped write with her. And it all ended up in the music. It’s unapologetic pop, and owes no I’m Sorrys. I’m guessing, but I bet she’s even nodding to the nature of her own music with the album title. 99 Cents is the price of a song on iTunes, and she knows she makes singles–some will hit, like Chasing Shadows and Banshee, while others might feel a bit derivative (Big Boss Big Time Business) or just won’t connect for whatever other reason. But when she’s good, she’s great, and she makes you wanna run and spend 99 cents.