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Monday, October 11, 2010

MIA's new album is horrifying... and fantastic

A few months ago, "Paper Planes" heroine M.I.A. released MAYA, a record I only got around to listening to recently. I was intrigued after reading a review on Coke Machine Glow with the opening sentence: "MAYA, M.I.A.’s third and so obviously worst album, is the sound of a devoted audience getting fucked over by a musical sociopath."

So I listened and realized that review was correct. The album is disturbing and almost unlistenable. And for that reason, I love it.

It reminds me of Liars' second album They Were Wrong, So We Drowned. That record got some of the worst reviews I've seen in my life. Rolling Stone gave it a half star. Seriously, one half of one star. Spin gave it a 0 score. Billboard called it "a gigantic step backward."

I couldn't figure out all the outrage, because I loved that Liars record, particularly the horrifying screams at the end of "If You're a Wizard, Why Do You Wear Glasses?" That album was so dark. Honestly, when so many records these days sound exactly the same, it's a breath of fresh air to hear something so... out there.

It's with that context in mind that I declare MIA's new album one of my favorites of recent months. The highlight, in all its "torture chamber" glory, is "Teqkilla."

MIA: Teqkilla


Mr. Puff said...

couldn't agree more about the Liars comments. That record is superb.

Tony D said...

That song really is out there. I have no idea who these people are.