M.I.A. Has A Party In World Town

Aug 20th, 2007 // 10 Comments

kala-cover.jpgEvery week, we round up the all-important, all-summarizing last sentences of the biggest new-music reviews. Today’s entry is M.I.A.’s Kala, which comes out tomorrow:

• “These are the noises kids make when they’re teaching themselves how to get their voices heard or that mothers make when they’re soothing their troubled little ones. They are the sounds that sustain and develop growth in a world fraught by violence and interruption. They’re just as important to M.I.A.’s art as hot beats or political messages. And by making sure they’re everywhere on “Kala,” M.I.A. makes her World Town teem with life.” [LA Times]
• “Occasionally, she pushes her luck as well as the envelope. In 48 minutes, you get just two songs you might describe as having a tune: Jimmy, and the dreamy, Clash-sampling Paper Planes. You start out thinking it’s a brave and bracing decision, but by the time you reach World Town – which, instead of a melody, has a synthesized noise that sounds like a mosquito repeatedly dive-bombing your ear – you begin to question its wisdom. But, even at its weakest moments, Kala sounds unique – and, thrillingly, like an album that could only have been made in 2007, which is not something you can say about many albums made in 2007.” [Guardian]
• “There’s a resolute sarcasm, a weariness and defiant determination, a sense of pleasure carved out of work — articulated by the lyrics, embodied by the music. A riot of human, musical and mechanical sounds bubbles underneath these tracks. Not a white riot, that’s for sure, and not a dangerous one either — unless you believe every Other wants what you got and has nothing to offer in return. Kala proves what bullshit that is. The danger is all the evil fools who aren’t convinced.” [Rolling Stone]

  1. DavidWatts

    “… all the evil fools”? Is Mr. T writing for RS now? His prose has gotten clunky. Where are the rhymes, T, where are the rhymes?

  2. Maura Johnston

    @DavidWatts: if mr. t is now going by the name ‘robert christgau,’ then yes, he is.

  3. Twilly

    I dunno….I saw a portion of her show at Lolla and was completely unimpressed. In all honesty, it gave me a headache.

    Seriously, I’m not that old. Am I?

  4. DavidWatts

    Maybe Robert Christgau has been Mr. T all along.

  5. TheMojoPin

    I must be completely missing something when it comes to M.I.A.. She makes The Streets sound like Rakim with some classic DJ Premier production behind him, and that is no mean feat.

  6. natepatrin

    I hope M.I.A. and Dan Deacon collaborate on a Hold Steady cover, just to watch haters’ heads explode like microwaved sausages.

  7. katieee

    “And the cover art shows just how far MS Paint has come since it was but a glimmer in Bill Gates’ bespectacled eye.”

  8. TheMojoPin

    She’s gonna make her next album cover using LOGO and the first single is going to sample the bangin’ music and sound effects from Oregon Trail.

  9. Lucas Jensen

    @katieee: I believe it was Broderbund Print Shop.

  10. Lucas Jensen

    I really like MIA. But the whole “Fight On!” thing bugs the crap out of me. Fight on for what? For whom? Her fuzzy politics often seem to work at cross-purposes, and the fact that her dad is a founder of a Tamil Tiger-offshoot? Not that the Sri Lankan government is good either, but the Tamil Tigers invented suicide bombing and love them some forced conscription of 12 year olds. Sure, maybe she doesn’t talk to her dad much…I don’t know the situation. It seems exploitive and shallow.

    I still like the tunes, though.

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