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 Hearstlike 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.
- Release Date:
- Interscope Records
Performance CreditsM.I.A. Primary Artist
Nesreen Shah Vocals
Technical CreditsWizard Programming,Producer
August Darnell Composer
Pete Hofmann Engineer
Justine Frischmann Composer
Dwayne Wilson Producer
Paschal Byrne Producer
Ross Orton Composer,Producer
Anthony Whiting Composer,Producer
Steve Mackey Composer,Producer
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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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)
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!
This album is amazing!!! Recommended for any avante gaurde music lover.
Really good beats and sounds. It is a great cd.