Arular

Arular

4.8 5
by M.I.A.
     
 

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Tough-talking rhymes about revolution, freedom fighters, and sex; rude-boy patois straight outta South London; and garbage-can grimy beats all come wrapped up in the colorful, comely package of M.I.A. -- also known as Maya Arulpragasam. A 29-year-old Londoner of Sri Lankan extraction (her father was a Tamil Tiger separatist), M.I.A. made waves in 2004 with "Galang," a

Overview

Tough-talking rhymes about revolution, freedom fighters, and sex; rude-boy patois straight outta South London; and garbage-can grimy beats all come wrapped up in the colorful, comely package of M.I.A. -- also known as Maya Arulpragasam. A 29-year-old Londoner of Sri Lankan extraction (her father was a Tamil Tiger separatist), M.I.A. made waves in 2004 with "Galang," a single that folded in elements of dancehall, "grime" techno, South Asian percussion, and '80s-style pop à la Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" with her hyperactive, multivoiced chants and rhymes. It was so inescapable in the U.K. that the backlash had begun there before her debut was released in the States. Arular expands on the promise of the 12-inch with twitchy, distorted beats and socially conscious observations ranging from the wry (the immigrant blues of "Banana Skit") to the weird (the Patty Hearst–like abduction tale "Amazon"). Arulpragasam takes most of her political cues from Chomskyites such as Asian Dub Foundation -- come to think of it, she takes their South Asian-by-way-of-Jamaica toasting style, too -- which can ring harsh to American ears ("like PLO we don't surrend-o," she promises in "Sunshowers"). Likewise, M.I.A.'s rude-girl stance is a pose that might be too strident for a country in which Pink and Cristina Aguilera are "rebels." But the vivacious, girly vocals flirting around the clanging, clamorous beats make Arular intriguing and ultimately addictive.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Andy Kellman
A cursory listen to Arular makes one wonder how it could generate so much heated, in-depth talk, as it did well before its official release. This is very direct and physical party music, with lots of slang-filled phrasings that might not have any more meaning than "The roof is on fire!" or "Dizzouble dizzutch!" to Americans. It's music that is conducive to dancing or doing other carefree things in the sunshine, rather than what you should hear most often through feeble computer speakers in dimly lit rooms. So why bother discussing it at all? Well, below the surface is a lot more than anyone's basic idea of a good time. The blend of styles -- a dense, often chaotic collage of garage from the U.K., dancehall from Jamaica, crunk from the Dirty South, electro and hardcore rap from New York, and glints of a few others -- is unique enough to baffle anyone who dares categorize it. Beats crack concrete in whomping blasts and scramble senses in exotic patterns; flurries of percussive noise, synthetic handclaps, and synth jabs add chaos; exuberant vocals are delivered in a manner that will be frequently unintelligible to a lot of ears. More importantly, once all the layers of rhythm and accents are peeled away, you'll hear that Maya Arulpragasam -- the London-based woman of Sri Lankan origin who, along with a host of fellow producers, is behind the album -- has a lot more on her mind and in her past than fun, even when she's only alluding to the violence and strife her people have endured. The images that adorn the cover of the album aren't present merely for the sake of design, either; the tanks aren't a nod to the No Limit label. (Enter 10,000-word history of pre-tsunami Sri Lanka here.) The one key definite about Arular is that it's the best kind of pop album imaginable. It can be enjoyed on a purely physical level, and it also carries the potential to adjust your world view.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/27/2005
Label:
Interscope Records
UPC:
0602498832493
catalogNumber:
000484401
Rank:
35948

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Arular 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 5 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Really good beats and sounds. It is a great cd.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is amazing!!! Recommended for any avante gaurde music lover.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The groups first album mixes reggae,soca,dancehall and R&B flava in a perfect blend. The club anthems like "Galang" and "Pull Up" are hot and will keep the dancefloor hot in the club. Since the group is from Sri Lanka they don't get much play in the states but believe me if you are a Reggae lover you will LOVE this album. (no wack songs inbetween the Hits)
Guest More than 1 year ago
This album is exotic and exciting, guaranteed to make you want to dance. I first heard M.I.A.'s "$10" on XM Radio, and I've been hooked ever since. Not only does M.I.A. make good music with sweet beats, but she also makes political statements about poverty, war, and the value of education. So the album is not overly-indulgent, but it still encourages plenty of fun and games! "Arular" is a truly original album, mixing several different genres of music to a stimulating (and talented) Sri Lankan voice. Every nightclub DJ should own this album!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago