I love Santigold’s album 99¢, out earlier this year. It’s easily accessible and mercilessly catchy.
Does it sacrifice some of Santigold’s idiosyncrasies to get there? I’m not sure. Santigold is among a number of late-00s Electropop artists that I never entirely absorbed upon their first hit of fame. I don’t know where she’s coming from and I don’t have a raft of expectations to battle against on each new LP.
Maybe that’s s why I don’t know quite know how to talk about “Can’t Get Enough of Myself.”
Its easy, loping stroll topped with a constant bustle of triplets and a whistling high synth flute melody. The sound calls back to Stevie Wonder and post-Motown/pre-Disco 70s soul (even with modern touches, like a slight digital detuning on the flute riff).
(My mother loves an obscure (though frequently-sampled) 1976 LP by the band Dr. Buzzard’s Original Savannah Band that occupies that some space in my mind, particularly “Sunshower.” I remember when it was finally released in CD she was rapturous.
Oh, the 90s.)
Is it typical of Santigold? Are these her typical influences? I don’t know, and when a song is this good I’m happy to delay my research while I listen to it on repeat for a few more hours.
Aside from the inherently sunny charm of the throwback sound, there’s the unabashed happiness of the track. It’s infectiously cheerful, both melodically and in lyrics. Here’s the opening verse and chorus:
If I wasn’t me, I can be sure I’d wanna be
I’m pretty major and I’ll say it out loud
Living my life in a fantasy
Living my life in my vanity
Hey mom maybe you’ll see me now
All I wanna do is what I do well
Ain’t a gambler but honey I’d put money on myself
All I wanna do is bottle it to sell
Cuz my brand does vainglorious much better for your health
That’s a refreshing take on modern “drunk on my own fumes” braggadocio without lessening the intensity of self-love. It simply removes the component of superiority from self-love. When Santigold sings, “look at them liking me,” there’s no indication that just because she’s the the best she’s any better than anyone else.
In fact, maybe everyone should be exactly this vainglorious in their own heads as they walk down the street. They certainly might feel that way if they had this song pumped into their ears.