About The Cold Cut...

The musings of a teenage audiophile. Indie, Rock, Hip-Hop, Rap, Dance, Dubstep, Garage, Metal... music crosses all boundaries. The Cold Cut is devoted to giving you a taste of what's going on in music at the moment.

About Me

A 17 year old taking his first tentative steps into the world of blogging. In my first year, its been up and down, from the slow first months to a busy time around the one year anniversary.

M.I.A.- Kala Review

A couple of weeks ago I highlighted the release of Kala, M.I.A.'s second album, which I now possess- this is a comprehensive review of her Mercury nominated album. First off, what's changed since Arular? Well, she seems to have focussed her sound, only not in the way you would expect. If it's possible, there are even more genres forced together on this album, but the change made has been towards the albums' production: front and centre this time lies Maya's voice, which has progressed towards the point where she is singing alongside her trademark rapping, something which is quite unsettling when you first hear it on infectious opener Bamboo Banga. This soon passes, though, and by the time you reach leaked single Bird Flu you wonder where her voice was last time around (Bird Flu features the original sample of a chicken- appropriate, don't you think?). Then comes the one-two punch of Boyz, my personal favourite, a relentless track with lyrics that I can't even begin to comprehend, and then Jimmy, a remix of a song from Disco Dancer, 1982 Bollywood Film. The rest of the album has a consistently great mix of beats and raps, with standouts being 20 Dollar, XR2 and sleek album closer Come Around, featuring Timbaland, who was one of the producer's on Kala.

Kala is a much more intelligent album than it's predecessor, which is saying something considering Arular was hailed for its political poignancy. If you listen closely, there are numerous pop culture references hidden on the album: on 20 Dollar M.I.A. features the lyrics of The Pixies 'Where Is My Mind?' as it's chorus, and Paper Planes openly samples The Clash's 'Straight To Hell'. On top of this, there are numerous Bollywood references and cultural secrets, something which I didn't notice but are evidently there (check out fansites for proof). But never mind that- this is an album that transcends cultural differences: I love all the songs on this album, even though I can't make sense of at least 5 of them. But is there anything I don't like about it? Well, it's verging on being a bit overlong at 12 tracks full of beats, but the mix is better than last time around because of slower tracks such as Paper Planes, which has a full choir in the background, alongside gunshots of course.

This album is a definite improvement over her first offering, and really proves to all the hater's that M.I.A. is an artist with some real substance and staying power. Whereas many loved Arular purely for it's beats- disregarding Maya's vocals all the while- I hope the reception for Kala will be based on the beats alongside her rapping/singing. Another main difference between this and Arular is the overall quality of the music- all 12 tracks have a much more polished feel to them, in all senses; The colossal beats are more clean-cut, Maya's voice is now the centre of the songs and the album seems more like a production rather than a random collection of beats and raps. With Kala, M.I.A. has become the hip-hop artist so many people mistook her for, but not without sacrificing the differences which made her music special... Follow the links below to download some of the best tracks of Kala:

M.I.A.- Bamboo Banga
M.I.A.- Boyz
M.I.A.- Bird Flu
M.I.A.- Jimmy
M.I.A. ft. Timbaland- Come Around

Kala can be purchased here


13 comments:

  1. Anonymous said...
     

    Anyone check out M.I.A.’s interview on mtvU.com. Its pretty short, but a decent read.
    http://www.mtvu.com/music/the_hot_seat/?artist=mia__4_

  2. Will said...
     

    Thanks very much- It's interesting to see that she's different all the time, not just through her music.

  3. Anonymous said...
     

    This is a new cover version / remix song and video "M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)" that has been done by the American (U.S. based) Rapper with Sri Lankan Roots Delon (http://www.myspace.com/delonrap)
    M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)

    Ceylon Records - the label handling Rapper Delon has released this controversial video -
    M.I.A - Paper Planes (Diss By DeLon)

    MIA Paper Planes (Diss by Delon)

    Delon speaks about his Cover Version of "Paper Planes"

    More from Amerian Rapper Delon who has relatives in Sri Lanka ....Delon promotes peace for the World with his Rap
    http://www.myspace.com/delonrap

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