June 17, 2013
Matangi, the forthcoming full-length from polarizing rap-pop superstar M.I.A., has been stuck in label limbo for quite some time now, with its expected springtime due date now being pushed back to the fall all because Interscope thinks it sounds "too positive." You would think that after the tepid reception toward 2010's buzzsawing /\/\/\Y/\, label execs would be thrilled to have M.I.A. soaring back to "Paper Planes" territory, but hey, we're living in a post-Death Grips / Yeezus world these days, so who's to say what didn't work three years ago wouldn't have been revered as a groundbreaking attack on genre conventions. "Bring the Noize" is our first preview of what's likely to be heard on Matangi, and it's a pinball-loaded listen that sets M.I.A. free to unload all of her pent-up hyperactive outlets in one spot, whether it be a loopy beat (a signature effect produced by ex-Diplo cohort Switch alongside Surkin) or the message (which in this case is a show of support to her version of freedom fighters Julian Assange, Bradley Manning and Edward Snowden.) As schizophrenic as the cut-up vocals, marching percussion and dubby technicolor drops are, the consistently frenetic collision of all these layers add up to some semblance of cohesion (at least by M.I.A. standards.) It's in part a throwback to Kala's supremacy without so much that album's linearity, and hopefully the A&R heads don't mistaken her springboard into socio-political matters as a thoughtless smile.
Labels: Song Reviews