M.I.A. releases new lyric video from her long delayed new album
So, you all know who M.I.A. is, right? The Sri-Lankan-by-way-of-London, dance-music-producing artist, with an ear for the perfect balance of pop and ethnic beats. She’s not metal by any stretch of the imagination (unless you consider unbridled awesomeness as metal, then she’s definitely metal.)
Even if you hate the sun, live in a cave and communicate with the rest of the world via tin cans on a string, you’ve probably heard of this woman before. She’s alternately famous and infamous — her music exploded the indie scene in 2005 and from there she’s been on a slow-burn to take over the pop music world. At the same time, she’s also garnered a metric shit-ton of attention for her politics — some of which may be baffling for the more Eurocentric of us. I’ll be honest, the only reason *I* know about the Tamil Tigers (the “freedom fighters” or “terrorists,” depending on who you ask, not a baseball team) is because of M.I.A.
Okay, so you probably know who I’m talking about by now. If you’re still confused, fuck it, that’s why Wikipedia exists.
But why am I talking about M.I.A. today? Shockingly enough, there is an actual real reason! (It’s not because I’m a stalker. I promise.) After a long, somewhat public battle with her record label, the singer/artist/crazy person is drawing close to the release of her newest album Matangi, which was supposed to be released last year. The singer claims that the release was pushed back by the label after she handed in a disc that they deemed to be “too positive.”
No, I don’t know what that means either, and we’d do well not to take that statement at face value. She’s as adept at manipulating the media as she as producing beats. To quote Wikipedia quoting something else: “Richard Russell, head of XL Recordings, states, ‘You’ve got to bend culture around to suit you, and I think M.I.A has done that’…”
And today, she tweeted about the official release of the newest single “Come Walk With Me” on iTunes. It doesn’t look like there’s a video available yet on YouTube yet, but there are plenty of unofficial uploaders out there to help out! Here’s one for you to enjoy.
Thoughts on the song: It’s weird, isn’t it? Her voice seems more nasal than usual, and that might be off-putting the first time you hear it, but it’s grown on me. The song, as with much of M.I.A.’s music, takes a winding path, marching from one verse to the next with only the barest hint of cohesion. It’s not exactly the mad ride of an unrepentant noise-grind band, but the song certainly has a few personalities.
My favourite moment, though, is the end, wherein M.I.A. fucking samples a chorus from her first album. I’ll leave it to you to decide if it’s clever or simple egomania.
Of course, with a new album approaching, this isn’t the only single out right now. “Bring the Noize” appeared just a couple of months ago in June. It’s a bit rowdier and messier and has more of a tribal hip-hop feel. (I hope you like gold.)
But as good as both songs are, neither comes close to my personal favourite “Bad Girls”, which came out last year in anticipation of the original release date. While M.I.A. is hardly the first person to mix middle eastern and dance music, she does it so naturally it seems obvious.
Also, that see-through car she’s riding in you can see at about 2:22? She had that made special-order just for the video. Which is either incredibly wasteful or incredibly awesome. I can’t decide which.
So, this is where I’m supposed to ask what you think about the video, but I don’t fucking care what you think. I’m too busy grooving and jiggling my fat belly.