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CD of The Week

Week of 7/30/18

    Santigold - I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions (Downtown)

    The concept of the mixtape vs. an album is a longstanding tradition in the music world, primarily in the hip-hop scene. Tracks flow together and aren't usually full, stand-alone songs, but sketches that the artist wanted to get out into the world. Longtime Y-fave and Philadelphia native Santigold has opted to go this path for her surprise new release I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions. Announced less than 24 hours before its arrival, the digital-only set is inspired by Santi's love of dancehall and reggae but filtered through her own eclectic sound.

    I Don't Want was recorded with producer Dre Skull primarily, with Santi partially using unfinished songs and tracks. With its electronic elements and drum machines, I Don't Want is unquestionably a Santigold release, just one that leans more heavily on her reggae influences. (Though maybe it didn't need those played-out DJ 'laser" sounds?)

    "Coo Coo Coo" kicks off the mixtape with a takedown of sexism and catcallers, while bemoaning a lack of real connection in the world. "Crashing Your Party" tackles sociopolitical issues and pushes for women to take the reins of leadership.  Other standouts include "Valley of the Dolls" and the single "Run the Road."

    Don't expect the abundance of hooks you'd find on a typical Santigold record. I Don't Want: The Gold Fire Sessions is more about creating an overall vibe and sound for barely a half hour, making for the perfect summertime playlist, while giving you something to think about as well.
    Review by Joey O.

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