Wednesday, July 14, 2010

M.I.A. - /\/\ /\ Y /\

Sorry for the lack of posts lately. I was spending a few days in the Stone Age (Winters, CA). Anyways, I've had the chance to listen to /\/\ /\ Y /\ a few times now and I've got a few thoughts on the album.

Overall, it's solid work that doesn't stray too far from what M.I.A. has done in her previous efforts (and I think that's a good thing). She continues to combine pop, electronica, rap, reggae, noisy guitars, lots of bass, chanting, etc. to create coherent tracks that range from pick-me-up songs like "It Takes a Muscle" to bitter and angry loudness like "Born Free." (BTW, if you never watched the super-intense, not-work-appropriate video for "Born Free," watch it now. At least get through the 6:51 mark.)

It seems that M.IA. has allowed herself a little more freedom in terms of embracing noise. She's got a slightly more industrial vibe (most blatantly, the drills in "Steppin Up") with this album that I'm totally digging. And she pushes the echo, reverb, and distortion on her vocals a little further than in the past.

Pair that up with political themes throughout and the overall effect is kinda like Mickey Mouse fighting the forces of evil during Fantasmic (note: I frikkin love Mickey so that comparison holds a lot of weight). Maya is standing there, orchestrating a whole lot of chaos into a controlled harmony to battle those who won't tell the complete story of what's happening around the world. Even if it means she has to deal with death threats directed at her kid.

Once again (I already posted this), most of the album is streaming here.


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