Over the span of this last year, M.I.A. has been in and out of the news for multiple reasons. In the midst of the controversy surrounding her middle-finger antics at her Superbowl halftime performance and the lawsuit that followed between M.I.A. and the NFL, she’s ran into some difficulty with finally putting out her latest effort Matangi. M.I.A. built up a lot of hype surrounding the release saying that it was to be her “spiritual album”, which makes sense because it is named after the Hindu goddess of music and learning Matangi. One might think that Matangi being a “spiritual album” would cause it to lose some relevance to the music industry and music news. However, M.I.A. still stays in touch with culture a bit when she references the middle finger scandal towards the end of the fourth track on the album “Warriors”. On this album there’s a little bit of something for everybody.
A few tracks really stick out when listening through this album. The first one that grabs the listener’s attention is “Come Walk With Me”. The first half of the song is a slow, lazy song that sort of just idles along. But after a break, the song kicks in to a fast-paced, high-energy, pop sounding groove that one can hardly help dancing to. The switch from half time to double time that takes place in the song makes it impossible for the listener to miss. The song holds similarities to that moment when a party really gets going, it starts out in a relaxed manner and then all of a sudden it kicks in.
The second song that stands out on the album is the eighth song “Bad Girls”. Some may be surprised to see this track on Matangi since the single “Bad Girls” was released over a year before the album was released. However, don’t let that lapse of time take away from the fun, excitement, and creativity of the track. This song is true M.I.A., an anthem to being independent and living a fast, wild life. Also, the instrumentals on this track are stupendous. The mixture of the higher-pitched lead and the booming percussion make quite the combination.
Overall, Matangi is a pretty solid effort from M.I.A. Although the album may have been a little overhyped by the delayed release and press surrounding M.I.A. and the NFL, it still does not disappoint. The album does seem to reach its zenith in the middle of the record, with its highest-energy and most upbeat songs in the middle chunk of songs. One still can’t ignore the fact that Matangi is a very solid album, and every M.I.A. fan can find something they like on this album.
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