Archive for the ‘q-tip’ tag
Almost exactly four years removed from her last record, Santigold is preparing to release her sophomore album in just a few days. Called Master of My Make-Believe, the record officially hits US stores on May 1st, but can be listened to in its entirety online.
If you’ve been keeping up with music trends in the past few months, you’ve likely heard part of this album. “Disparate Youth,” released in February, was the leading single from the album which was followed by “Big Mouth” and “GO!.” There are a lot of positive things to say about the album. First, Santigold clearly had her hands all over the record in the process of its creation. The tracks never feel churned-out or over produced, and they ooze of her unique sound. Santi is given a writer’s credit no fewer than 11 times on the 38-minute album, and a producer’s credit 4 times. In addition to her heavy involvement, there are many guest collaborators. Among others, the list includes the Yeah Yeah Yeahs’ guitarist Nick Zinner and singer Karen O, big-time producer John Hill, and Q-tip from A Tribe Called Quest.
The melodies on tracks like “Keeper,” “Riot’s Gone” and “Disparate Youth” are extremely catchy and much more pop-oriented than some of the other tracks. While “Disparate Youth” is more laid back than the other two, all the tracks feature upbeat, poppy synth textures underneath Santigold’s distinct vocals. Little blips of the individual collaborators aren’t hard to pick out in the songs, especially Zinner’s guitar work if you’re already familiar with it.
Marc Ronson & The Business International’s 2010 LP, Record Collection, largely flew under the mainstream music biz’s radar. This is a shame and a surprise – to begin with, Ronson was the mastermind behind Amy Winehouse’s success with Back To Black. He’s also an objectively top-notch producer. You can see his influence on Winehouse when you compare her raw, unrefined footage to what came out of the studio: she wrote the music and the lyrics, but many argue that he was just as responsible for the retro-soul Amy Winehouse “sound” so many people fell in love with.
Record Collection is a motley collection of hip-hop, reggae, and R&B influences. Also, Ghostface Killah. Most of the vocals are contributed by other artists – really, it’s sort of a “Mark Ronson & Friends” type album. It’s still cohesive and worth listening to. Here are my favorites:
“Lose It (In The End)” could be entered in a courtroom as evidence that in this point in their careers, Ghostface Killah is simply better than Jay-Z. He’s got more energy, still keeps a more unhinged edge in his delivery, and most importantly, the subject material of his raps are more personal – more captivating, really – than the standard “I’m the king” fare Jay-Z tends to put out these days.
He’s also a regular Ronson partner in crime. His rap over “You Know I’m No Good” was the surprise highlight of Back to Black. That it was not released as a single in its own right is a testament to Winehouse’s skill as a songwriter in the original song. That this one is just as good is a testament to Ghostface.
Despite being largely passed over by the Billboard ilk, the internet deemed Record Collection to be more worthy. Remixes abounded, particularly of the title track. This one, by Perseus, is of particular note:
Of course Mr. Ronson had to get in on the fun, too: here’s his remix of Miike Snow’s “Animal.” This one’s got a great reggae tint to it. Right off the top, too, you can immediately pick out the classic R&B horn line we might otherwise be tempted to attribute to Winehouse. But we know better.