M.I.A.: Matangi (Interscope) - album review | Under the Radar Magazine Under the Radar | Music Blog for the Indie Music Magazine
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Nov 04, 2013 M.I.A. Bookmark and Share

The anticipation for M.I.A.‘s fourth album, Matangi, has been building since last year, with her label postponing the release date over and over. M.I.A. threatened to leak the whole thing herself and whetted appetites by sharing tracks from Matangi for months. Named after the Tantric form of the goddess of music and learning, Matangiwhich also happens to be M.I.A.‘s full real first namehas all the distinct M.I.A. markings. Dirty street beats, multicultural rhythms, and snarling rapped/sung lyrics that are laced with M.I.A.‘s British accent.

Matangi is produced by Surkin, Switch, Danja, Hitboy, Partysquad, Doc McKinney, M.I.A. herself, and her brother Sugu. Using both trendy electronic talent and urban hitmakers, she has all the bases covered on Matangi, which maintains her electro-punk approach and sound. She sounds apathetic on “Bad Girls,” in contrast to the celebratory trills and percussion that define the song. On the closest thing she has to a ballad, M.I.A. croons, accompanied by The Weeknd, on “Exodus.” “Double Bubble Trouble” is her take on reggae, punctured by harsh air horn sounds, while the title track throws you in the middle of an Indian wedding party. M.I.A.‘s immersion in all forms of social networking and resultant pop culture, which has permeated her last few albums, has also found its way onto Matangi. Flatulent buzzes override “Y.A.L.A.,” M.I.A.‘s version of the ubiquitous “YOLO” term. Most amusing is when she says, “Back home where I come from/We keep being born again and again and again/That’s why they invented karma.”

Even with all the outside input, M.I.A.‘s Sri Lankan roots are present in the booty-shaking militant backbeat that is the spine of the whole album. Her signature chaotic, frantic kitchen sink of noises permeate every song. There isn’t much shift from album to album. She’s found what works and she sticks to it. (www.miauk.com)

Author rating: 7/10

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