M.I.A. - Kala
Label: Interscope Records
Format: 2 x Vinyl, LP NEW
Genre: Electronic, Hip Hop
Style: Grime, Hip Hop
Credits: Artwork By - M.I.A.
1. Bamboo Banga
2. Bird Flu
5. Hussel - Afrikan Boy, , M.I.A.
6. Mango Pickle Down River - M.I.A., The Wilcannia Mob
7. 20 Dollar
8. World Town
11. Paper Planes ( diplo mix)
12. Come Around - M.I.A., Timbaland
Her 2005 debut album "Arular" proved an electric shock to the system, its ballsy mashup of street styles and pop hooks earning a Mercury nomination in U.K.
Mia's new album "Kala" is named after her mother, but like "Arular" it mixes up musical ideas from around the world and crams them into a club- and radio-friendly collage of tunes.
This LP drives her music in even more intrepid directions
In fact this time, rather than work with British producers such as Steve Mackey of Pulp and the pop guru Richard X, MIA travelled widely to authentically capture the world music that intrigues her.
The result is fantastic.
"Birdflu" features the sound of traditional Indian drummers, whom MIA recorded on a trip to the sub-continent last year.
"Down River" throbs with didgeridoo she recorded at a workshop for aboriginal children in Australia.
The tribal pound of "Hussel", meanwhile, was recorded with a Nigerian-born London-based rapper, African Boy.
Whereas "Arular" was dominated by bouncy funk carioca beats, "Kala" feels like a more mixed, cosmopolitan affair.
Recorded in India, Australia, Trinidad, Japan, Britain and Baltimore with producers including Switch and Blaqstarr, it sounds like an infectious international travelogue.
Looking at that luminous, vibrant front cover, or the ludicrously colourful video for "Boyz", M.I.A. seems more like a textile artist than anything else.
If the driving force behind her music is a restless, globe-trotting quest for identity, that makes sense - a collage is a beautiful way of drawing disparate pieces together to create a whole that exists as something important in itself.
"Kala" meets the critics head on, taking her dancefloor smash-and-grab sound global.
She twangs the boundaries of taste both lyrically ("Take me on a genocide tour/Take me on a trip to Darfur") and musically. But a knockout's a knockout, however messy the bout.
All in all, Kala is an intense, body-shaking, mind-bending album, far more ambitious than most pop around.
My favourite tracks are "Paper Planes", "20 Dollars" and "Turn".
MIA - Paper Planes (diplo mix) official Video
MIA - Boyz
MIA - Come Around