Genre-mashing album delightful
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. Stuff.co.nz