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Electronic - Released August 20, 2007 | XL Recordings

Distinctions The Qobuz Ideal Discography
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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Interscope

Distinctions 4 étoiles Rock and Folk
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Electronic - Released September 9, 2016 | Interscope

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"Stars come and go," Maya Arulpragasam sings as her fifth album comes to a close, and it's another reminder of what a self-aware artist she is. On AIM, which was rumored to be her final album at the time of its release, she sounds revitalized. For someone supposedly ending her career, M.I.A. issued a lot of music in the months prior to the album's arrival. Several of her best songs didn't even appear on AIM's final track list (the excellent "Swords," which samples clashing blades for its beat, only appears on a deluxe edition of the album). Nevertheless, M.I.A. sounds more relevant on AIM than she has in some time. As a musician who always sought to break boundaries, it's fitting that she explores the issues facing refugees, immigrants, and others at the mercy of geographical and political borders with renewed passion. Though the trap-tinged "Borders," which premiered in late 2015 with a powerful music video inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, loses a little something when stripped of its visuals, she fares better on "Go Off," where she sings of the "fans back home" over a Skrillex/Blaqstarr production that blends traditional music with contemporary beats -- a classic M.I.A. tactic, if there ever were one. As the title suggests, Arulpragasam comes full circle on AIM, revisiting some of her career highlights along the way. She name-drops "Bamboo Banga" on "Visa," which shares the feeling that M.I.A. represented a new pop paradigm; alludes to "Bad Girls" on "Foreign Friend"; peppers "Finally"'s dancehall rhythms with gunshots à la "Paper Planes"; and harks back to the storytelling of her earlier albums on "Ali R U OK," where she tells her overworked refugee lover "I haven't even seen you since we left Calais." While some songs recall Matangi's droning cul de sacs, more often than not Arulpragasam remembers to include melody and fun, particularly on the swaggering "A.M.P (All My People)." "Freedun," which features former One Direction member Zayn, is a highlight that proves M.I.A. still has the ability to surprise. Even if AIM is more scattered than her finest work, at its best it plays like a scrapbook that pieces together over a decade's worth of sounds and issues. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released November 5, 2013 | Interscope

Booklet
Four albums into M.I.A.'s career, it's arguable that success may have been the worst thing to happen to her music. After "Paper Planes"' breakthrough, Maya Arulpragasam seemed determined to appear ever more rebellious in the face of increasing mainstream acceptance; her one-finger salute during the Super Bowl half-time show while performing with Madonna and Nicki Minaj was a perfect example. That attitude trickled down to her music: /\/\/\Y/\'s abrasive electronics, which reflected her mistrust of the information age, were equal parts tedious and thrilling. Matangi -- named after an emerald-green Tantric goddess as well as a riff on M.I.A.'s birth name, Mathangi -- has weaknesses similar to /\/\/\Y/\'s: many songs are so claustrophobic that they feel twice as long as they actually are, and her wordplay hovers somewhere between the club and the nursery. Her litany of countries on the title track feels alternately meaningful and parodic, while "aTENTion"'s reliance on words with "tent" in them works better as a rhythmic device highlighting the song's blippy electro-pop than a key to any deeper significance. Top-loading the album with some of its most aggressive tracks, M.I.A. makes listeners wait for her still formidable skills with hooks and melodies. She displays them most stunningly on "Bad Girls," a sinewy, menacing track whose origins date back to 2007 sessions with Danja. Throughout Matangi, Arulpragasam proves she's as adept as ever at blending different sounds and cultures into a mix that is unmistakably hers, alluding to Shampoo's bratty Brit-pop single "Trouble" at one moment and proclaiming herself the female Slick Rick at another. Indeed, the moments inspired by rap and R&B are among the highlights, such as her karmic questioning of Drake's ubiquitous motto on "YALA" or the sultry, surprisingly straightforward ballad "Know It Ain't Right." "Exodus," a collaboration with the Weeknd, finds a mostly successful middle ground between her outbursts and his chilly R&B dirges (although the closing reprise "Sexodus" probably wasn't necessary). While she remains an ambitious synthesist, it often feels like M.I.A. is having less fun as time goes on, and moments like the fizzy, hypnotic "Lights" or "Boom Skit," which harks back to Arular's brazen exuberance, are welcome respites from her mission to be the edgiest. In its mix of confrontational moments and moves toward the rap/R&B center, Matangi is a frustrating portrait of an artist challenging herself on some levels and retreating on others. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released April 25, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released October 13, 2008 | XL Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2010 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Interscope

Four albums into M.I.A.'s career, it's arguable that success may have been the worst thing to happen to her music. After "Paper Planes"' breakthrough, Maya Arulpragasam seemed determined to appear ever more rebellious in the face of increasing mainstream acceptance; her one-finger salute during the Super Bowl half-time show while performing with Madonna and Nicki Minaj was a perfect example. That attitude trickled down to her music: /\/\/\Y/\'s abrasive electronics, which reflected her mistrust of the information age, were equal parts tedious and thrilling. Matangi -- named after an emerald-green Tantric goddess as well as a riff on M.I.A.'s birth name, Mathangi -- has weaknesses similar to /\/\/\Y/\'s: many songs are so claustrophobic that they feel twice as long as they actually are, and her wordplay hovers somewhere between the club and the nursery. Her litany of countries on the title track feels alternately meaningful and parodic, while "aTENTion"'s reliance on words with "tent" in them works better as a rhythmic device highlighting the song's blippy electro-pop than a key to any deeper significance. Top-loading the album with some of its most aggressive tracks, M.I.A. makes listeners wait for her still formidable skills with hooks and melodies. She displays them most stunningly on "Bad Girls," a sinewy, menacing track whose origins date back to 2007 sessions with Danja. Throughout Matangi, Arulpragasam proves she's as adept as ever at blending different sounds and cultures into a mix that is unmistakably hers, alluding to Shampoo's bratty Brit-pop single "Trouble" at one moment and proclaiming herself the female Slick Rick at another. Indeed, the moments inspired by rap and R&B are among the highlights, such as her karmic questioning of Drake's ubiquitous motto on "YALA" or the sultry, surprisingly straightforward ballad "Know It Ain't Right." "Exodus," a collaboration with the Weeknd, finds a mostly successful middle ground between her outbursts and his chilly R&B dirges (although the closing reprise "Sexodus" probably wasn't necessary). While she remains an ambitious synthesist, it often feels like M.I.A. is having less fun as time goes on, and moments like the fizzy, hypnotic "Lights" or "Boom Skit," which harks back to Arular's brazen exuberance, are welcome respites from her mission to be the edgiest. In its mix of confrontational moments and moves toward the rap/R&B center, Matangi is a frustrating portrait of an artist challenging herself on some levels and retreating on others. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Electronic - Released February 11, 2008 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released September 9, 2016 | Interscope

Booklet
"Stars come and go," Maya Arulpragasam sings as her fifth album comes to a close, and it's another reminder of what a self-aware artist she is. On AIM, which was rumored to be her final album at the time of its release, she sounds revitalized. For someone supposedly ending her career, M.I.A. issued a lot of music in the months prior to the album's arrival. Several of her best songs didn't even appear on AIM's final track list (the excellent "Swords," which samples clashing blades for its beat, only appears on a deluxe edition of the album). Nevertheless, M.I.A. sounds more relevant on AIM than she has in some time. As a musician who always sought to break boundaries, it's fitting that she explores the issues facing refugees, immigrants, and others at the mercy of geographical and political borders with renewed passion. Though the trap-tinged "Borders," which premiered in late 2015 with a powerful music video inspired by the Syrian refugee crisis, loses a little something when stripped of its visuals, she fares better on "Go Off," where she sings of the "fans back home" over a Skrillex/Blaqstarr production that blends traditional music with contemporary beats -- a classic M.I.A. tactic, if there ever were one. As the title suggests, Arulpragasam comes full circle on AIM, revisiting some of her career highlights along the way. She name-drops "Bamboo Banga" on "Visa," which shares the feeling that M.I.A. represented a new pop paradigm; alludes to "Bad Girls" on "Foreign Friend"; peppers "Finally"'s dancehall rhythms with gunshots à la "Paper Planes"; and harks back to the storytelling of her earlier albums on "Ali R U OK," where she tells her overworked refugee lover "I haven't even seen you since we left Calais." While some songs recall Matangi's droning cul de sacs, more often than not Arulpragasam remembers to include melody and fun, particularly on the swaggering "A.M.P (All My People)." "Freedun," which features former One Direction member Zayn, is a highlight that proves M.I.A. still has the ability to surprise. Even if AIM is more scattered than her finest work, at its best it plays like a scrapbook that pieces together over a decade's worth of sounds and issues. © Heather Phares /TiVo
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Punk / New Wave - Released September 15, 2017 | Darla

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Electronic - Released October 1, 2007 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released February 11, 2008 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released February 8, 2017 | Interscope

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Electronic - Released July 11, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released October 10, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released January 1, 2013 | Interscope

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Electronic - Released October 10, 2005 | XL Recordings

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Electronic - Released August 23, 2004 | XL Recordings

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Alternative & Indie - Released July 12, 2010 | XL Recordings