Wednesday, August 22, 2007

m.i.a. "kala" review



as quite a few of you know, i am generally not a fan of music labeled "avant garde." i like my music with hooks, a catchy melody, and a bangin' beat. i like a certain level of ambition, but if it's too off the beaten path, i generally can't stand it. i hated the "art rock" portion of the course i had to suffer through in order to get my own radio show in college. but man, did i love the straightforward rhythm and melodies of the ramones, bad religion, and jawbreaker. and i am an unabashed fan of mainstream producers like timbaland, who constantly pull hits out of their asses while gently pushing the envelope. remember when justin timberlake's "sexyback" first came out, and the quirky and slightly discordant sound took people by surprise, but then the song ended up being the anthem of 2006? brilliant.

with that being said, one would imagine that i would find m.i.a.'s new album unlistenable. her new album "kala" deviates even further from the mainstream than her debut "arular." after the department of homeland security banned her from the country, thereby preventing timbaland from producing her album, m.i.a. recorded her album in recording studios all over the world, in developed and undeveloped countries, with a variety of producers. what resulted was a world music mashup of epic proportions. despite the often non-linear and the frenetic cacophony of the tracks, i can't stop listening to the album. it's unlike anything i've heard before, yet it doesn't turn me off. strangely enough, the one timbaland produced track is the weakest on the album.

so, thank you, department of homeland security for inadvertently creating this masterpiece.

so here's my conclusion: get this album and challenge yourself. close your eyes and be prepared to hear fusions of sound that will blow your mind.

2 comments:

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