Bad Girls Do It Well!
Grammy and Academy Award nominated British-Sri Lankan songstress Mathangi ‘Maya’ Arulpragasam aka M.I.A’s 4th studio album has been titled ‘Matangi‘, and is tentatively scheduled for a summer release. It’s a follow-up to 2010’s ‘Maya‘, an effort that turned out to be the controversy-loving ‘Paper Planes‘ singer’s highest charting album, peaking at # 9 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart, but was rather underwhelming in comparison to her flawless sophomore album ‘Kala‘ (2007) or her equally amazing 2005 début ‘Arular‘. I felt ‘Maya‘ lacked the classic M.I.A spark, the slick production and crazy beats of her first two albums, and there was no song on the album that could match up to the standards set by Electro/Hip-Hop dance jams like the insanely addictive ‘Bird Flu‘, ‘Bamboo Banga‘ or ‘Hustle‘ from ‘Kala‘, or ‘Galang‘ and ‘Sunshowers‘ from ‘Arular‘. The fact that the album’s first single ‘Born Free‘ was accompanied by possibly the most gruesome video I’ve ever seen, dealing with graphic depictions of genocide, did not help in favor of the album.
Thankfully M.IA is keeping it fun this time around, as evidenced by her recent collaboration with Madonna and Nicki Minaj for the Queen of Pop’s ‘Give Me All Your Luvin‘, that earned her a Billboard top 10 hit. This was followed by her appearance along her Madgesty at this year’s Super Bowl half-time show, which garnered her a fresh round of controversy regarding her flipping the finger during her performance. Honestly, watching M.I.A showing off her middle finger is way more bearable visibly as compared to seeing young kids being blown to bits in the video for ‘Born Free‘ IMHO.
What really made me hyper-ventilate was the first single and video, ‘Bad Girls‘, from ‘Matangi‘. As I had already blogged earlier, the flawless video is easily one of the best I’ve ever seen. And in true M.I.A style, a message against the patriarchal government in the Middle East has been delivered through the Roman Gavras-directed video complete with generous doses of bling and car-racing. So I’m not surprised that the video’s already garnered over 25 million views on YouTube and Vevo combined! Now that’s the M.I.A that was missing in action! Let’s hope the rest of the album is as epic as the first single!
In the meantime, M.I.A’s about to release the remixed version of ‘Bad Girls‘ featuring..hold your breath..Missy Elliott, Azealia Banks and Rye Rye!