M.I.A. is back with her fourth album, Matangi, unleashing 15 new age tracks with chants, Indian-style beats, hypnotizing rhythms, and a free-spirit. One thing is certain, she stays true to her soul. M.I.A.’s lyrics are creatively flawless with music pieces from various genres. It’s a record that raises the frequency to a whole new level.
“Karmaegddon” starts off with a spiritually mesmerizing chant following explosive pop beats with edgy background vocals. It picks up speed fast and the words fit in like a musical puzzle piece – beautifully jumbled together. She sings to the wave of the beat – moving like a sound. Mixing old and new time periods with a touch of spoken word poetry, electro-dance, neo-pop and old school touches for a brilliantly polished record. Ironically enough, M.I.A. says “my words are my armor and you’re ’bout to meet your karma” and the song implies Karmaegddon is out to get you. It’s a metphoraical asteriod that hits home hard.
The title track is a little bit over five minutes long with tons of culturally-influenced groovy beats. It’s a consistent song that lists almost every country, “It’s so simple, do the dance.” Take this ambiguous song and roll with it. Simply put, we all come together through the sounds of music. To end the tune, there is a high-pitched, hypnotizing horn that may put listeners into a trance.
“Warriors” redefines music by starting with “OM,” a chant that is used in many cultures. She even says so her self, “We’re putting them in a trance,” and later states, “Warriors in the dance.” M.I.A. is great with wordplay and putting two different ends of the spectrum into one complete song. “AtTENTion” slows down in time, “Don’t try to copy this cause I paTENT, Runnin on the streets causing TENTsion..” She continues with “We’re aliens, but we’re not muTENT…” This song is outta this world with clever internal rhyme schemes and end rhymes. “Bad Girls” and “Bring The Noize” are the top two hits off the album, but don’t be fooled, the rest of the album is mind-blowing.
M.I.A. creates a new dimension of music using all elements of classical, hip-hop, electro-pop, rap, and simply will not be defined by anyone. Props to a true artist.
Top picks: “Bad Girls,” “Bring The Noize,” “Matangi,” “Warriors,” and “Double Bubble Trouble.”