M.I.A. - KALA

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ok, it finally clicked after four listens. and I like arular again too. I don't usually need this much time to get back into something I liked before.

StanM, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 08:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

Didn't she use to have a colorful and vibrant site? What happened?

http://www.miauk.com/

StanM, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 09:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

I really wish M.I.A. wasn't touring with Bjork. I'm not interested in Bjork at all and it probably means the tickets are way overpriced.

-- filthy dylan, Wednesday, 1 August 2007

she's doing some support slots, afaik she isn't "touring with" her. ffs if it's too much, don't go and quit whining about it. MIA's tickets will be just as expensive if anyone even still cares about her in ten years time.

fandango, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 11:09 (7 years ago) Permalink

Listened to most of it on the way to work this morning, sounds great. Got so excited when I saw it leaked last night. The Where Is My Mind? and Roadrunner lifts are cool, as is the sheer fun factor.

Chris in Belfast, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 11:24 (7 years ago) Permalink

Jesus Christ, how good is XR2?!

Chris in Belfast, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 11:45 (7 years ago) Permalink

Now that I am actually listening to this it's not really doing anything for me.

I'll let it sink it before I comment though.

Def like "Pickle Down River"

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 19:15 (7 years ago) Permalink

Haha, that's the one song I skip.

Spencer Chow, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 19:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

She'll have to go a long way to top that terrible clunky Bjork lyric about the suicide bomber though.

Hmm???

Cunga, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 19:32 (7 years ago) Permalink

I like the "Paper Planes" chorus - "Rumpshaker" with gun shots is somehow less dumb than with zubba zoom zoom (and a boom boom).

Pleasantly surprised by how strong this album is; no sophomore slump in evidence.

EZ Snappin, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 19:52 (7 years ago) Permalink

This album is unbelievable great.

groovemaaan, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 20:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

Found the first album (and her in general) fucking annoying, vocally UNBEARABLE, trite, insanely overpraised, barely worth the repeat playthroughs and a model demonstration of everything bad about indie/internet hype. A few good tracks and an awful lot of BS.

Liking a LOT of this a LOT. Opener just smokes (then Bird Flu... is what skip buttons what were invented for) and there's other great stuff here, if this was instrumental (which at times I kind of wish...) it'd actually probably hold it's own next to Panda Bear or something just on gloriously messy inventiveness. Quite the pleasant surprise, I'm still on the fence about some of it/her, but going less immediately, graspingly pop, it's worked for her big time.

fandango, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 21:23 (7 years ago) Permalink

Album of the year.

micarl, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 23:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

for me

micarl, Wednesday, 1 August 2007 23:49 (7 years ago) Permalink

Will definitely buy it on vinyl.

Switch's influence is actually good. Much better than I had predicted.

micarl, Thursday, 2 August 2007 00:07 (7 years ago) Permalink

How the hell did she end up in Wilcannia?

StanM, Thursday, 2 August 2007 07:43 (7 years ago) Permalink

I *love* Boyz, Jimmy, XR2 and Paper Planes, kind of undecided about the rest of it.

I'm a little disappointed so much of it is so mid-paced. As Dan pointed out a few months ago, her voice and delivery really require an active beat - the reason Arular and the best tracks here work so well is that she's totally propelled along on the momentum of the track and you don't really notice her vocal limitations. When things slow down a little there needs to be a melodic cushion there (Amazon, Paper Planes). When she's going "hustle hustle hustle, cry cry cry" over a sparser arrangement it just sounds kind of bored and empty.

I'm reserving judgement on the thing as a whole for now, but on the first couple of listens it doesn't have the initial wow factor that Arular held for me.

Matt DC, Thursday, 2 August 2007 08:20 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh Bird Flu is great as well but I'm not really sure why people are hating on the Timbaland track over everything else here.

Re: XR2 - I felt my spine tingle at the opening "where were you in '92?" bit as my head went "okay, you KNOW what happens now". The inevitable maximalist all bells, whistles and sirens blog house remix is going to be incredible.

Matt DC, Thursday, 2 August 2007 08:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

this is some serious shit.

she out-Bjorked Bjork on this one.

Spinspin Sugah, Thursday, 2 August 2007 08:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

How the hell did she end up in Wilcannia?

She didn't, Morganics did, about four years ago. (Probably ignore the Diplo guess in that link though.)

energy flash gordon, Thursday, 2 August 2007 09:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

Oh! I read this thread but I missed that - thx!

StanM, Thursday, 2 August 2007 09:08 (7 years ago) Permalink

I haven't heard the full album but have a feeling I'll agree with Matt DC - I like M.I.A. when she's going for all-out maximalist assault ("Boys" is definitely one of my absolute favourite things of the year for this reason), but quickly find her tiresome when she's getting all sparse/spartan/worthy.

Tim F, Thursday, 2 August 2007 12:26 (7 years ago) Permalink

I just reversed $20. It sounds cool; she's whispers propaganda.

Tape Store, Friday, 3 August 2007 03:14 (7 years ago) Permalink

I like M.I.A. when she's going for all-out maximalist assault

^ this

BIG HOOS aka the steendriver, Friday, 3 August 2007 03:19 (7 years ago) Permalink

"Boyz" might be my fave song by anyone this year

Dominique, Friday, 3 August 2007 04:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

does this one also sound like it was made on mario paint?

Richard Wood Johnson, Friday, 3 August 2007 04:48 (7 years ago) Permalink

i really like this.

that's all for now.

s1ocki, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:16 (7 years ago) Permalink

The best things about Boyz are a) the cheering and the crowd clapping and the fanfares that accompany it and b) the fact that it comes straight after Bamboo Banga and Bird Flu and the cumulative effect is this constant ramping up of deafening drums.

I'm sold on all of this now except for Mango Pickle Down River, and Hussel isn't great, especially Afrika Man's verse. Although the bit when they loop his "you think this is hard, come to Africa" line and there's this enormous bass synth stab absolutely rules.

Also "when I'm dogging on the bonnet of your bright red Honda" WTF?!

Matt DC, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

WAIT I GET IT "DICK" "WOOD" "JOHNSON"

max, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:22 (7 years ago) Permalink

I used to know a guy called R1ch4rd Fa11as actually. Oh the hilarity that caused when we were 15.

Matt DC, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:28 (7 years ago) Permalink

What do we think of "Down River"/"World Town"(?)/"Bucky Done Gun v2"? I think it rivals Boyz for the best song on the album...

Stevie D, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:31 (7 years ago) Permalink

sort of what matt dc said, except i was never blown away by arular, and i'm loving most of this. jonathan richman shout out is crazy way to open an album - wonder if Radio 1 will get this made into an updated jingle based on the original :-) :-)

Jimmy and Paper Planes,plus all the stuff i've already heard (XR2, Boyz, already featured on FT podcast, yay) instantly lovable. others are a bit hrm so far. the mango pickle one sounds like an extended skit off a DJ Yoda mix. which, to me, is a good thing.

Alan, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:34 (7 years ago) Permalink

i cant believe more people aren't loving $20

max, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

Boyz would sound so great on a street carnival sound system.

Alan, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:36 (7 years ago) Permalink

$20 is the blue monday one. mix this into Rihanna shut up and drive plz kthx

Alan, Friday, 3 August 2007 08:37 (7 years ago) Permalink

Also "when I'm dogging on the bonnet of your bright red Honda" WTF?!

-- Matt DC, Friday, August 3, 2007 Bookmark Link

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dogging_%28sexual_slang%29

naus, Friday, 3 August 2007 09:53 (7 years ago) Permalink

agree with matt dc and tim f. OTM etc. still like this album though. ive only heard it once though in case i start to dislike it. i need to love one new album this year. dont ruin it for me.

titchyschneiderMk2, Friday, 3 August 2007 10:25 (7 years ago) Permalink

$20 is awesome as well. I love the vocoder on her voice that alternately makes her sound like Cher doing Believe and a roaring robotic dinosaur.

Matt DC, Friday, 3 August 2007 10:41 (7 years ago) Permalink

Paper Planes = track most likely to be covered by Lily Allen this year.

Matt DC, Friday, 3 August 2007 10:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

oh dear... i'm sure i'll regret posting this, but upon marianna's encouragement, this is a drunken email i sent last night about kala:

well, having listened to the MIA album a couple times now, i have to say that i am so appalled by how bad it is, that i wondered if it was even the 'real' album, or someone having a laugh, doing a 'mock' MIA album.

**WARNING - GRUMPY OLD MAN RANT ALERT**

this could be the most asinine, amateurish, worthless recording i have heard in a long time. and i used to listen to trance music! seriously - her "lyrics" are embarrassingly childish and stupid. maybe that was intentional, but come ON! i honestly suspect that she was simply making up words on the fly, just rambling about random things that rhymed. it reminds me of when me and my friends were about 8 years old and we had one of those tape recorder things, and we would just spout whatever words we could string together. needless to say, she has about as much talent in this regard as the average 8 year old - and that might be giving her too much credit. and her singing/MCing everything in that monotone is incredibly tiresome. about the only thing i like is some of the production and background beats, but even those are just re-purposed from the freestyle stuff of the early 80s. what i find most worrisome is the fact that hapless journo hacks will probably laud this as some sort of watershed recording of british music - a great leap forward by an 'adventurous' artist, blah blah blah. then again, these are the same people that think radiohead are geniuses, and they stopped making decent 'music' after 'the bends'. jesus, wake me when it's over.

Rob Bolton, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:39 (7 years ago) Permalink

wow. i really went off. and upon reflection, i realize that i am a 'hapless journo hack' who gave OK computer a good review. ouch.

Rob Bolton, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:42 (7 years ago) Permalink

i'm baffled and disappointed by your reaction to this music, Sir.

blueski, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

MIA really is the most exciting artist in British music right now tho. We're sorry...

blueski, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:57 (7 years ago) Permalink

i'm actually a bit baffled by my email too!
hey, at least you've got MIA. we've got nickelback :/

Rob Bolton, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

What part of her or her music is British then? (xpost) (oh, the label, is that it?)

StanM, Friday, 3 August 2007 12:58 (7 years ago) Permalink

What part of her or her music is British then?

that's not what i said

blueski, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:01 (7 years ago) Permalink

altho her basslines never shut up about house prices, chavs and putting the kettle on

blueski, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:03 (7 years ago) Permalink

This sounded FANTASTIC at first... probably because her vocals & patois stylings are a BIT more tolerable this time, where Arular was sickeningly, obviously so lightweight and all up-in-your-face without ANY of the wallop or weight to make that approach WORK.

Kala is going for something far more low-down, grooves that are insistent and squirmy but still bang, musically it's SO much more interesting that it's just in a different league. Production wise, it's full of surprises, energy, immediacy and feels like a really unique and effective fusion.

BUT 4,5 listens in, the cracks are starting to show big time and I'm getting annoyed at her too-frequent inability write a song that doesn't evaporate from memory the minute you turn the stereo off. Boyz is a particularly acute example here.

I feel like MIA is absolutely perfect for people who prefer their pop/dance to consist of NOTHING BUT transient thrills and explosions (hi dere ILM!), who can find "massive pop hooks" in anything, however empty & hollow it might be ... and kind of useless if you like anything more solid, especially lyrically.

All of which is a bit unfair, as she's made GIANT steps forward here in packing memorable moments into her stuff, enough that I can understand the excitement she generates a bit better now... but honestly... overrated much?????

mind you "most exciting artist in British music" not saying much looking at the competition so maybe she is :p

fandango, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:35 (7 years ago) Permalink

you're saying Boyz is forgettable??? or the exception to that?

blueski, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:47 (7 years ago) Permalink

People who diss post-Bends Radiohead are not to be trusted, even when I think I might agree with them.

HI DERE, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:56 (7 years ago) Permalink

I'm saying, like SO much of her stuff, it kind of has half a tune, not much of a chorus/hook/song... and then the rest of it... I think I must be hearing her wrong because the rest just feels like load of noise & effects hanging around to disguise what's missing. Doesn't really work for me, soz.

fandango, Friday, 3 August 2007 13:58 (7 years ago) Permalink


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