After first blowing onto the music scene at the tail-end of the noughties (then known as Santogold), Santigold has kept to a fairly rigged formula. Her work with producers like Switch gave her music a noticeable dub reggae feel and made her the go-to choice for collaborators who wanted a more exotic vibe to their music. But for her third full-length, the singer has been branching out, looking for a lesser pigeonholed sound and possibly her most eclectic release to date.
While that same old Santigold still remains throughout, '99¢' is more about exploration for the vocalist. Tracks like 'Walking In A Circle' with its trap production and 'Rendezvous Girl', a song that could have featured in the background to an 80s arcade game, help bring out the frontwoman's adventurous side, even if it doesn't quite go as planned. While these new directions are commendable, they do clash heavily with the overbearing ethos of the record, which still remains rooted in political reggae influence and becomes an unwelcome distraction at times.
Still, '99¢' manages to keep its head above water and deliver another batch of party anthems to continue her career for another few years at least. Fun and ever thought-provoking, she still manages to stand out alone in a world of imitators.