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By DANIEL BROCKMAN  |  May 13, 2008
3.0 3.0 Stars
As the multiplying number of female major-label artists releasing bloop-bleep manifestos to wackiness attests, Björk’s stunt with the swan outfit was a defining cultural moment. In the wake of Swangate, it seems that female solo artists have two paths to choose from: releasing solid acoustic-based songy songs, or wearing warpaint and DayGlo and delivering vocals in as idiosyncratic a style as possible. It’s not really worth giving examples, because in the case of Santi White a/k/a Santogold’s debut album, identifying the specific reference points spoils all the fun. And anyway, the real reference point here is a bit more arcane: let’s see, an artist emerges out of nowhere with a major-label debut that is exceedingly polished, yet with a foot in a burgeoning underground scene, and with a stylistic diversity that makes every track a different exercise in genre mastery? That’s right, it’s like Lenny Kravitz’s debut all over again. The dubby patches at the two-thirds mark kill a lot of the momentum, but one would have to be pretty jaded to deny the club-banging ecstasy of “Creator,” the new-wave crunch of album opener “L.E.S. Artistes,” and/or the Ashlee-Simpson-covering-the-Police awesomeness of “You’ll Find a Way.”
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