Master of My Make-Believe

  • Record Label: Atlantic
  • Release Date: May 1, 2012

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
Buy On
  1. May 1, 2012
    Amid all the fight songs, Santigold's sensitive interludes only bolster her power, her harmonies rendered more invincible for their vulnerability.
  2. 88
    Throughout, Santigold never stops playing spin-the-globe, and she also never loses sight of her mission to keep listeners moving.
  3. Apr 30, 2012
    White's subversive way with a hook and her ability to effortlessly blend dance beats from around the world make "Master of My Make-Believe" a deceptively breezy and enticing summer album.
  4. May 16, 2012
    It's a project more likely to fit comfortably into what will likely grow into a large and varied discography than deliver instant lightning in a bottle.
  5. Magnet
    May 11, 2012
    An even more esoteric, and yet - oddly enough - more accessible record than her debut. [No.87, p. 51]
  6. 83
    Master of My Make-Believe's disgruntled machine-raging and spiky new-wave rhythms evoke both the urgency of early U2 and the agit-pop ire of M.I.A.--while delivering more direct danceability than either.
  7. May 16, 2012
    It feels less like an overly ambitious second album, as might be expected, and more like a pivotal and dramatic step forward into relevance once again.
  8. Make Believe takes the listener from the same point A to point B as Santogold, but has no qualms about taking a completely different route, which is both more scenic and more difficult, but ultimately feels more fulfilling.
  9. May 3, 2012
    This is the kind of album that can fully define her sound, but is still multifaceted and well crafted enough to be exciting.
  10. May 3, 2012
    I would place this album among the strongest work coming out in both the realms of indie and pop music these days, and though it may not inspire the level of critical and popular veneration that her first album enjoyed, it's a welcome return by one of the most inventive and inspired recording artists working today.
  11. Apr 26, 2012
    Santigold's trademark irreverence and penchant for high-energy anthems delivers her sophomore effort from the potential downfalls of miscellany.
  12. Apr 26, 2012
    My Make-Believe is a refined continuation of Santi's dubby, militarized, post-punk experimentation.
  13. Apr 23, 2012
    Each track is executed to perfection as Santi morphs with chameleonic pizzazz.
  14. 80
    Liberally spattered with sonic exclamation marks.
  15. Apr 20, 2012
    Grips you like summer flu.
  16. May 1, 2012
    At just 11 songs and 37 minutes, Make-Believe is a modest work, short on big thrills and surprises, but generous enough with the creature comforts that made Santigold's debut such a gem.
  17. Apr 24, 2012
    Danceable escapism for Urban Outfitters shopping that won't make you question the prices, much less start a riot.
  18. 70
    Underpinning the shots White fires at the world has always been a deep-seated melancholy that she brings out effectively here.
  19. May 4, 2012
    There's still a bit more growing to do, but Master of My Make-Believe shows that's she's headed in the right direction.
  20. Alternative Press
    May 2, 2012
    Its pattering Jamaican rhythms and Indian drones well matched to lyrics that ruminate on revolutions both political and personal. [Jun 2012, p.84]
  21. Apr 23, 2012
    In her quest to make her own brand of gimmick free progressive pop, Santigold has made an album that, for all its faults, intermittently works. And when it does hit the mark it does so exceedingly well.
  22. Apr 20, 2012
    While slightly more subdued than before, the pint-sized sparkplug proves she can still churn a stimulating groove, and doesn't need cartoonish gimmicks to do so.
  23. Oct 30, 2012
    Master of My Make-Believe takes a more subtle approach than its predecessor.
  24. May 2, 2012
    It's not the sort of thing one pins their organic, folksy dreams upon, though you get the sense it was born out of that interest and perhaps lost its way over time.
  25. May 8, 2012
    You could never truly expect a truly cohesive album from Santigold, and she's met expectations.
  26. May 1, 2012
    Master of My Make-Believe is by no means a disappointment, but it falls short of the expectation that has been gestating for the past four years.
  27. May 2, 2012
    A polished assortment of tidily global-sounding, mid-tempo pop tunes that seem to end before they ever kick off, strung together by a checklist of semi-impassioned capital-K Keywords: Youth, Machine, Riot, Fame, Freak, Pirate, Keepers.
  28. Q Magazine
    Jun 21, 2012
    Make-Believe is a record you're more likely to respectfully admire than fall hopelessly in love with. [Jun 2012, p.110]
  29. May 1, 2012
    Dazzling moments don't come often enough to make up for flat ones.
  30. May 1, 2012
    Her songs sound great but feel off, merely gesturing in the direction of emotions. In the end, she's so cool she'll frost up your earbuds.
  31. Apr 23, 2012
    On standout tracks such as "Disparate Youth" and "Big Mouth", the collision of nagging pop and neon polyrhythms often feels like a halfway party-house between MIA and Florence Welch.
  32. Apr 20, 2012
    There's a subdued, mid-paced feel to it, too, and this sense of somehow sad restraint holds it back from greatness.
  33. May 4, 2012
    Master of My Make-Believe lands with a bit of a thud in contrast; lots of filler propped up by a few far-out pop jams, possessing as many ups and downs as her 2008 debut record.
  34. 50
    [The album] shines in most parts and violently hampers itself in others.
  35. Apr 20, 2012
    Master of My Make Believe has the feel of being made deliberately difficult to listen to; obstructionist for the sake of being obstructionist, confrontational without really having anything to argue against - except what might, ultimately, be self-imposed expectations.
  36. Jun 4, 2012
    On Make-Believe, a sloppy more-of-the-same same approach has crippled what this album could have been, ultimately leaving us with some vaguely interesting notions rather than well-explored concepts.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 38 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. Sep 20, 2012
    While not as adventurous as her self-titled debut, taken as a whole, Santigold's "Master of My Make-Believe" is a much more cohesive album.While not as adventurous as her self-titled debut, taken as a whole, Santigold's "Master of My Make-Believe" is a much more cohesive album. It is evident that Santigold has matured since her first outing, and she is improving on figuring out the sound that she wants. The production here is top-tier, and sounds amazing. A few of these songs (Disparate Youth, Fame, Pirate in the Water, Big Mouth) will stay in your head for a while after listening, no doubt about it. This is an excellent sophomore effort from Santigold, and I am curious to see where she goes next. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2012
    Like Santi's previous work, MomMB takes a few listens to truly appreciate. Production is tight and vocals are up to par, but there'sLike Santi's previous work, MomMB takes a few listens to truly appreciate. Production is tight and vocals are up to par, but there's something missing. Many of the medium-tempo songs ("This Isn't Our Parade" and "The Riot's Gone") are lackluster, and the track ordering seems out of whack. That said, it's still better than 90% of the music that gets airplay. Okay, make that 99%. "Go!", "Big Mouth", "Look at These Hoes" and "Pirate in the Water" are definite highlights. Full Review »
  3. Aug 19, 2012
    Santi's new album is a big improvement apart her debut. It sounds like a wider vision of world she had already settled in "Santogold", but inSanti's new album is a big improvement apart her debut. It sounds like a wider vision of world she had already settled in "Santogold", but in a more polite and less impulsive sound and songwriting. And it doesn't take any of the charm of Santigold's nasal voice. Maybe some songs are a bit too long, as the best of the album, "Freak Like Me", blow away listeners in poor two minutes. That said, enjoy the best "engaged" album of the year. Full Review »