The first thing you need to know about producer turned avant garde-ish beatsmith Saint is that he’s a genuine enigma. I’ve read his press releases and listened to his album several times, but I still can’t quite wrap my head around him. Perhaps that’s because his songs meld from one genre to another as his album progresses from one song to the next. Hell, sometimes he switches genres within the same track, hence his press release using the term mentioning his “trapandtwerk philosophy.” There’s also this:
In Saint’s words : ‘Immaculate’ is a contemporary retelling of Dante’s journey in the Divine Comedy, guided by Virgil through Hell. The album opens with the first Canto of Inferno, then follows the nine Circles of Hell. From the frantic opener Tamagotchi, to the tragically hopeful love song — LoveHateSong. Like the Divine Comedy, the album sonically drives through the moods and scenery described in Dante’s classic- from confusion, to peace and bittersweet hope.
Are you puzzled yet?
Good, the more perplexed you are, the more the album sucks you in. I imagine it’s like being near a black hole. You want to look inside of it, so you’re tempted to get close, but if you get too close then you’ll vanish in it. Which isn’t to say that you’ll necessarily lose yourself in this record, but you’ll lose that part of you that forms expectations. Sure, you will anticipate what’s going to come next, but you’ll probably be wrong. Trap, twerk, hip-hop, bangers, anthems, EDM — Saint does it all. The fascinating thing is that he’s able to do these things while injecting himself into each track to a point that you will recognize him in all of them. He’s definitely not one of those artists who their identity when they shift from one genre to another. Oddly enough, he sounds more and more like himself each time he tackles another style, proving he can do whatever he wants and thrive.
As for his above quote, the album does open with a canto, the track entitled “Canto One,” which is recited by a woman with a beautiful voice, so beautiful that you feel as though you’re listening to a fairy speak. In the background, though, drop some potent hip hop beats, the sort you’ve been swept away by on Lana Del Rey and Lorde’s debuts. Accompanying this, a whole chorus of guys keep chanting “hey, hey, hey…” The positioning of the woman’s voice with these hip hop elements is certainly an interesting juxtaposition and sparks your curiosity, making you wonder what the hell kind of album this is going to be. As it goes on, you’re sure to forget all about cantos, however, the album being full of various styles and tones of hip-hop vocals telling deeply sexual, sometimes violent, and ultimately hopefully tales. To that end, I would recommend this album to any serious hip-hop fans, especially if you want to hear lots of underground artists who are better than most of today’s most popular rappers. But it’s also sure to engage people who aren’t so fond of hip-hop, provided they like songs that go bounce and fill you with wonder and awe.