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Boomkat Product Review:
When she's not fighting for the Sri Lankan frontline or DJing at fashion shows, M.I.A likes to knock out extremely good, brilliantly screwed up pop albums. She's done it twice already with 'Arular' and 'Kala', and she's about to do it all again with 'Maya', probably her brashest, noisest and most adventurous to date. We've already been impressed with the 16-Bit referencing dubstep-conrete of 'Steppin Up', and maybe less so 'Meds And Feds', but there's another eight brave and future leaning missions to really get excited about, and some of them are just jaw-droppingly good. It's probably an unfair comparison to make, but between herself and Lady Gaga it's easy to see who has reached the top of their game with the most credibility intact. Like the Gaga, she's obviously surrounded herself with good people, but in M.I.A's case those people have some interesting musical ideas and good links with the underground, not just a wild wardrobe. So, she's got Blaqstarr and Rusko alongside longtime spar Diplo to nourish her pop roots with some real unna'ground fertiliser, resulting in tracks like the dub flanged killer 'It Takes Some Muscle', the unhinged bashment bubble & squeak of 'Teqkilla' or squawking halfstep pop like 'Space'. With 'Tell Me Why' there's a pointed wink towards the Panda Bear/Animal Collective axis of indie-psyche, only anchored with a booming 808 bass, and there's no fear that her lyrical style has waned, making that mid-Atlantic enunciation work so much better than Uffie's snotty style. Basically, she's cut looser than any of her contemporaries with a well measured mix of exotic global currents and a real heavyweight sound design element that's futureproofed this set for years to come. Very very good indeed.