Pop revolutionary Mathangi Arulpragasam aka MIA has FINALLY dropped her feverishly anticipated and often delayed fourth studio album ‘Matangi‘, and the effort has limped in at a stellar # 23 on the Billboard 200 Albums Chart!
What began as the British-Sri Lankan chanteuse’s most ambitious project with the release of the hugely promising first single and video, the thoroughly flaw-free ‘Bad Girls‘ back in early 2012, turned out to be a colossal mess due to innumerable delays and label issues mired in controversy.
Clearly, the time was ripe for the ‘Paper Planes‘ songstress back in early 2012 to drop ‘Matangi‘ – her bird-flipping act at the Superbowl alongside Madonna got her a bigger share of the limelight than Queen Potty-mouth Extraordinaire Nicki Minaj who also happened to perform alongside the two, the stunning Roman Gavras-directed clip for ‘Bad Girls‘ picked up two Moonmen at the 2012 MTV VMA’s and eventually bagged a Grammy nomination, and MIA earned her second official Billboard top 10 hit as a featured vocalist on Madge’s ‘Gimme All Your Luvin‘.
Thankfully, the album has finally seen the light of day – MIA was threatening to leak the album on the internet due to conflicts with her label and the album release itself seemed fabled.
A # 23 début is not too bad, but for an artist of MIA’s caliber – ‘Matangi‘ follows the # 9 peaking ‘Maya‘ and the # 18 peaking Gold-certified ‘Kala‘ – this comes as a disappointment. Especially since the album is yet another uncharacteristic sonic extravaganza packed with relentlessly morphed beats – classic, classic MIA!
Also, the follow-up singles to the hypnotic mid-tempo ‘Bad Girls‘ from the album were the majorly disappointing ‘Bring The Noize‘ and ‘Come Walk With Me‘ – both of which failed to chart anywhere at all. The wrong choices for the next single may be instrumental in the album going for a free-fall down the chart (remember how the top 5 smash ‘Paper Planes‘ made MIA a household name after ‘Kala‘ became the most successful album of her discography?)
The fourth single – the superbly frenetic ‘Y.A.L.A‘ (You Always Live Again) – finally gets a much deserved video treatment, and let’s hope this one pushes the album to a much-deserved RIAA certification. Gold, at least?
MIA teams up with fashion house Kenzo for a clip that may well induce an epileptic fit – thanks to an explosive apocalyptic rave of strobes and neon lights.
As usual, MIA slays as she asserts her place as one of the most accomplished and visionary artists of our times – not buying into the Drake-heralded ‘YOLO‘ phenomenon.
Lets hope ‘Matangi‘ backtracks its way up the charts!
Check out the trippy Daniel Sannwald-directed collaboration between MIA, Kenzo and i-D Magazine right here :