AAC (Hi-Quality) (44k)
MP3 (56k | 128k)
by: Sun-J

28 year old Maya Arulpragasam, AKA M.I.A., created quite an internet buzz last year with her indie, single release, Galang. Her dancehall chants, and fresh beats were a warm welcome to an internet population looking for more Dizee Rascal, and The Streets type breakthrough artists. The Sri Lankan daughter of a political refugee grew up near a club district in London where her influences were derived. Just after Galang was dropped, DJ Diplo reworked most of M.I.A.'s songs, to produce the sample heavy, Piracy Funded Terrorism. M.I.A. released Arular, and immediately received a positive reaction with sales. Arular, meaning "the ruler" was actually a nickname given to Maya's militant father. Not surprisingly, the majority of Arular was written on the synth friendly, Roland MC-505 Groovebox.

Arular opens up with "Banana Skit," and then dives right into "Pull Up The People;" a song that does as its name implies. "Pull Up The People" is very festive, with resounding horns, and dynamic beats. "Bucky Done Gun" includes amazing voice edits towards the end while fashioning an electro-funk beat. "Fire, Fire," originally a remix of "Sunshowers" is redone with a different beat pattern. "Amazon" features a chorus that seems to speak as a kidnap victim, while "Hombre" is very infectious with its reggae style chants. It was also a good idea to keep the big singles, "Sunshowers," and "Galang" at the end, as it allows M.I.A. to impress listeners further. Also, their is a very controversial political track, rightfully hidden, called "M.I.A" which takes shots at US politics (namely George Bush) as well.

M.I.A.'s energy is very contagious, and her full length is beaming with it. Random lines such as, "I salt and pepper my mango, shoot spit out the window," get stuck in your mind. This album is filled with beats that would make Timbaland and Missy jealous, in fact, I wouldn't be surprised if we soon heard of M.I.A. on some Timbaland of Pharrel production. Many of the beats seem to have the pulsating bass the Neptunes utilize. Regardless, this album is fresh, and will keep you interested throughout.



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