M.I.A's second album 'Kala' hits the shops todaaaay. i've reviewed the album for High Voltage but it mysteriously has failed to materialise on the website. it's probably due to my complete foaming at the mouth enthusiasm about this album. here's the review and a couple of tracks.
Nobody can ever accuse M.I.A. of being unoriginal or uninspiring. With 'Kala', her second and forthcoming album, she takes music to new levels and combines sounds that wouldn't work so well if it was anyone else.
Opening song ‘Bamboo Banga’ is incredibly infectious and sets the tone for the remaining tracks with heavy dancehall beats and the quick and clever poetry turned lyrics from the offset.
‘Jimmy’ is a slice of Bollywood turned accessible to the rest of the world. ‘Hussel’ featuring Afrikan Boy is almost unbearably catchy with its simple rhymes, “ooh”s, “ahh”s and electro infused beats whilst telling the politicised story of people from Africa to India to London.
There’s a dark undertone to this album that, although simmering beneath the surface, is all too poignant to miss. M.I.A.’s first hand experiences of poverty, politics and the streets are never far from her lyrics, providing a realistic, modern and hard hitting insight into the things she sees happening in this world.
‘Paper Planes’ is the highlight of the album. Bringing together the sound of gunshots, children’s singing and the sound of money being registered into a till makes for haunting work. Rapping over a fluffy melody, this track is the fun side of serious yet nothing short of powerful.
Despite sounding nothing like 'Arular' this album is M.I.A. all over, even with other artists such as Timbaland featuring on tracks. An extremely impressive second album from the Sri Lankan who has deservedly come such a long way from recording tapes in her bedroom. M.I.A. certainly is coming back with power.
4 out of 5
M.I.A. - Hussel (Featuring Afrikan Boy) [my favourite song this entire month!]
M.I.A. - World Town
BUY the album!