16 Songs, 53 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

EDITORS’ NOTES

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.

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