Genre-mash­ing al­bum de­light­ful

South Waikato News - - ENTERTAINMENT -

Talk about a con­tro­versy mag­net.

In the run-up to the re­lease of her new al­bum, Bri­tish- Sri Lankan artist MIA has sparked a furore over her head­line- nab­bing ‘‘ red­head erad­i­ca­tion’’ video for Born Free, and at­tacked a New York Times jour­nal­ist over an un­flat­ter­ing mag­a­zine piece in a vi­cious non­al­bum track called Haters (I’m a Sin­ner).

Then there’s her ex-boyfriend Di­plo, one of the al­bum’s pro­duc­ers who has since slammed MIA’S third al­bum – the fol­low-up to 2007’s megapop­u­lar Kala – as ‘‘a turd’’.

It’s def­i­nitely not a turd and all that fuss hasn’t af­fected MIA’S abil­ity to cre­ate land­scapechang­ing mu­sic. Maya or MAYA is an­other de­light­fully ran­dom genre-mash­ing ex­per­i­ment fea­tur­ing every­thing from pure pop thrills to all­out punk rawk and woozy dub­step may­hem.

MIA’S at her best when she’s di­rect and to the point, like Born Free’s rau­cous rock blast, the fre­netic Meds and Feds (fea­tur­ing the gui­tar skills of hyped New York act Sleigh Bells), and the touch­ing reg­gae-tinged elec­tro-bal­lad It Takes a Mus­cle.

If you’re look­ing for the next Pa­per Plans, XXXO’S jan­gly, synth-fu­elled beats have proven so pop­u­lar Jay-z has al­ready pro­vided a remix for it.

But the al­bum’s big­gest high­lights come cour­tesy of Bri­tish dub­step hero Rusko, who seems to have ousted MIA’S ex and al­bum crit­i­ciser Di­plo as Maya’s main pro­ducer. Rusko adds power tool sam­ples, thrilling horns and clipped horse hoof beats to bonkers opener Step­pin’ Up.

Step out of her way, haters. Be­cause, love her or loathe her, MIA is here to stay.

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