Music

POP

Album review: Santigold, ‘99¢’

Santigold might not be a household name, but her music has a substantial cultural presence: Her fizzy, hooky pop has been featured in commericals and on TV as a way to add cool to any campaign. Her third album blends styles in a way that thrillingly recalls the kitchen-sink endeavors of the early new wave era; the pugilistic “Rendezvous Girl” allows her to show off her voice’s higher range, while the thumping “All I Got” is a boastful track that reveals its playful side with buried-in-the-mix bells. So much of Santigold’s appeal comes from her exerting absolute control over a world where post-punk jitters and pop ecstasy commingle, which is why the album’s only real misstep comes when she cedes the floor to the enervated Atlanta MC ILoveMakonnen on the spaced-out “Who Be Lovin’ Me.” But the songs surrounding that hiccup, like the loose-limbed “Can’t Get Enough of Myself,” show how through the power of pop, Santigold can puncture cultural messages so that they’re about empowerment — not just for herself, but for anyone singing along.

MAURA JOHNSTON

ESSENTIAL “Banshee”

Maura Johnston can be reached at maura@maura.com.