M.I.A. Kala on Vinyl LP!
Acclaimed 2007 Genre-Bending Set is an Instant Party Starter and Thought Provoker!
Maya Arulpragasam, the British-based daughter of Sri Lankan refugees, delivered one of 2005's eye-popping debuts, Arular. For an album that proudly flaunted tin-can production, indecipherable South London slang, and lyrical nods to suicide bombers, it brought the woman who records under the name M.I.A. unexpected mainstream success. She followed its release by touring North America with Gwen Stefani and recording with Missy Elliott and Timbaland, while the single "Galang" made its way into a car commercial.
Kala (the first release was named after her freedom-fighting father, this one after her mother) throws Arulpragasam's newfound pop credentials into the bustle of Bollywood rhythms, police sirens, 8-bit dancehall beats, Third World car horns, and street singers. Recorded across several continents, it presents a far more dynamic listening experience than her first album, especially with tracks like "Bamboo Banga," "Jimmy," and "Paper Planes." It's no less exhausting, though. What with the New Order sample, Timbaland cameo, and urban sound effects, there isn't a moment when it doesn't feel like you've unintentionally invited an entire carnival into your home.
"Arular was about M.I.A. -- her ambition, her education, her contradictions, her history of violence. Kala is about the brown-skinned Other now obsessing Euro-America -- described from the outside by a brown-skinned sympathizer who's an insider for as long as her visa holds up. It opens with the uninvitingly spare "Bamboo Banga," which samples Indian Tamil filmi composer Ilayaraja and bends the lyric of Richman's "Roadrunner" so it celebrates a kid running alongside a Third World tourist's Hummer and banging on its door. "BirdFlu" disses dogging males everywhere -- "selfish little roamers" -- over another filmi sample and a barely synchronized four-four on some thirty deep-toned urmi drums. Also on "BirdFlu," high kiddie/girlie interjections add a cuteness that's sustained pitchwise on "Boyz," with its video of synchronized Kingston rudies shaking their moneymakers for the Interscope dollar. Only with "Jimmy," a Bollywood disco number a kiddie M.I.A. used to dance to for money at Sri Lankan parties, does a conventional song surface." --Robert Christgau, Rolling Stone, August 2007
M.I.A. Kala Track Listing:
1. Bamboo Banga
5. Hussel - Afrikan Boy, , M.I.A.
6. Mango Pickle Down River - M.I.A., The Wilcannia Mob
7. 20 Dollar
8. World Town
11. Paper Planes
12. Come Around - M.I.A., Timbaland