Monday, August 20, 2007

MIA coming back with power!


I’ve got a burgeoning ‘intray’ of new albums to bring to ya, so let’s kick off with one that’s out today…

On the opening track on Kala, MIA declares that “MIA is coming back with power”. Unlike so many of R ‘n’ B contemporaries where increasing self-aggrandisement is equally matched by terminal lack of ideas and absence of artistic ability, this is not an idle boast. This is an album that both follows on stylistically from her debut Arular, but still refuses to tread old ground.

It’s a great record and a thrilling ride from start to finish. There’s just so much going on here, as you might expect from an album that was recorded in five different countries. Playground chants, pulsing basslines, Bollywood-style strings, Brazilian beats and hip-hop grooves. And that’s just the start. She co-opts both British grime MCs (Afrikan Boy) and an Aboriginal rap outfit (The Wilcannia Mob) to add to her exciting stew-pot of musical goings-on. It’s not just ‘dance’ music either – on $20 she recites from The Pixies’ Where is My Mind? and Jimmy is supercharged pop, so much that I can imagine it being covered by Girls Aloud. On Paper Planes she reduces the tempo, samples The Clash’s Straight to Hell, adds sounds of cash registers and gunshots and simple melody and ends up with one of the best things she’s ever done. And the stabbing synths on XR2 prove once again, the old rave is better than new rave. At the end of Kala, it’s a real testament to MIA’s talent when the Timbaland guest slot, so often the R ‘n’ B holy grail paydirt, results in Come Around being the weakest track on the album.

So it’s synths without skinny jeans, R ‘n’ B without the empty bling and world music without the worthiness. The cynic may suggest that MIA just checks too many 'multicultural boxes' to be really genuine. But I say nah. In any case, I don’t care. Kala too good to worry about what demographic it’s targeted at. It’s just one of the albums of the year so far.

Download: MIA – XR2
Download: MIA – Paper Planes

Buy Kala

7 comments:

Stephan said...

Thought the last MIA album was somewhat hit and miss, but it still mananaged to be one that I've gone back to a lot. And it seems shes really been working hard towards this new album, particully on the range of people she's working with, Amazon here I come. Darn it really shouldn't read your blog around pay day.

Indie Kitten said...

Horrible cover art though. :P

coldjamma said...

the artworks better than any indie kitten album u own ;D

Anonymous said...

where were U in '92???

genocide tour said...

I disagree.. I think Come Around is one of the top songs on this album feat. Timbaland. Great beats off each track without songs sounding like each other, awesome rhyme with a cute-tough brit accent, and pretty dam amazing in my book! Listen to the album first though, the vids might throw you off of liking this one 'cause they look like something out of the 80's punk rock/ raggae scene.. but watch Jimmy Aaja vid for sure! Had this album on replay for two weeks straight before I put another CD on, then went back to it again. MIA is coming back with power power!

sticks n stones n... said...

ahn great for da four to ohh party party!

Anonymous said...

Saw this new cover version / remix song and video " M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)" has been done by Delon (http://www.myspace.com/delonrap)
M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)

Ceylon Records - the label handling Sri Lankan Rapper Delon has released this controversial video -
M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)

MIA Paper Planes (Diss by Delon)

Delon speaks about his Cover Version of "Paper Planes"

More from Delon....