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iTunes Review

After naming an album for her father (Arular) and one for her mother (Kala), M.I.A. made MAYA her own album. What this actually means can be researched in future years by uncovering the lyrics sewn deep in this musical pastiche where no style stands alone. The form of her music suggests there’s a party going on, but the sound of her music suggests the party is about to turn into a riot. The Sri Lankan singer uses enough abrasive tones to defy the usual conventions of sound and, in turn, redefines what music can actually be. It’s a heady ambition and while her controversial life story often gets in the way of her artistic ambitions, it’s unfair to judge any music based on a back story that neither helps or hinders. M.I.A. approaches music as a warpath. “Teqkilla” is a party anthem where one raises a glass in the spirit of revolution as the music assembles into a militaristic pummel where sounds drop from the skies. “Meds and Feds” is the sound of artillery working its way through an OCD sufferer’s therapy session. “Believer” surfs the smooth curves of Auto-Tune until it comes out on the wrong side of Jamaica.

Customer Reviews

A Challenging and Ultimately Very Enjoyable Ride

The other reviews (thus far) have criticized (if you can can their one-sentence childish ejaculations 'criticism') this record for sounding aberrant and abrasive. These people don't want to be challenged by their music; they want to enjoy it immediately; they want new music to *sonically* remind them of old music (even if they don't think they do). I ask them: did you listen to Kala? That album is insane. If you're expecting 'Paper Planes' then you shouldn't buy this because it sounds absolutely nothing like that song, but then again neither did any of the other tracks on Kala--an album in which it's (awesome) single felt out of place.

I read somewhere that with "MAYA" M.I.A wanted to make the album "so uncomfortably weird and wrong that people begin to exercise their critical-thinking muscles." It sounds to me like those earlier reviewers weren't (and maybe never will be) prepared to ask themselves any intelligent questions about the music they're listening to. I don't mean just questions about lyrical content but moreso about the production and sampling. I mean this album is a real trip. It's fun as hell to listen and vibe to. You have to be willing to open yourself to it.

Now I don't think that the album is amazing (maybe not even great). At least not yet. But I'm definitely having fun with it as MIA manages to take you down sonic avenues that you probably have never been on ('Steppin' Up' anyone?).

The lyrics are more politically charged than ever before and I personally really like that. They're personal and she really has something to say. What's great about MIA is that the abrasive tones of her music complement the lyrics so perfectly that the music itself speaks.

MIA is not trying to sell records with this. That's just obvious if you listen to it. I commend her for that and whether you like the music or not, you should at least give her that. There's so much snark and hatred out there when the truth is that the world needs more artists like MIA who make a concerted effort to CHALLENGE their listeners with something new.


Love it. Its great. Love it. You have to buy it & listen to it all the way through.I wasn't sure when I listened to the short blurbs they give you, but I pre-ordered & purchased because I trust her to be amazing. And she delivers every time. I actually think this may be my favourite album so far. I am going to a music festival this weekend & I know this is what we will be listening to in our camp.
P.S. Please come to Vancouver B.C. post haste we're waiting.

M.I.A. takes a risk....

...and it pays off because what she creates is a challenging, enigmatic cacophony that begs repeated listens. This album will definitely repel her fair-weathered fans who expected another "Paper Planes" clone. In fact, I would advise them to steer clear altogether. This album is a departure from M.I.A.'s previous two albums, lacking the danceability and pop hooks and opting for a harsher, glitchy, more discordant sound which reflects the technological themes of the album. The most pop song on the album, "XXXO" is actually my least favourite, but the rest of the songs blend well together to make a solid album. The first few times I listened to it I wasn't a huge fan, but after several listens and hearing it on a good speaker system, you really gain an appreciation for it.


Born: July 17, 1977 in Hounslow, England

Genre: Electronic

Years Active: '00s, '10s

If you read a lot about new music on the Web, odds are pretty good that, at some point between the September 2004 release of "Galang" and the March 2005 release of Arular, you were struck with the urge to turn your computer off or maybe even heave it out of a nearby window. If you don't read a lot about new music on the Web, the preceding sentence indicates how bewildering and draining the chatter about M.I.A. became. Arular, M.I.A.'s first album, leaked well before its official release, allowing...
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/\/\ /\ Y /\, M.I.A.
View in iTunes
  • $9.99
  • Genres: Electronic, Music, Alternative, Rock, Dance
  • Released: Jul 12, 2010

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