AltWeeklies Wire

M.I.A.: Mayanew

In 'Maya', M.I.A. is less of a rabble-rouser, and more of a dance-club diva-cum-punk high priestess.
Tucson Weekly  |  Sean Bottai  |  07-15-2010  |  Reviews

Our Dismal Decade: A Highly Subjective Look at the Decade in Musicnew

The decade was imminently forgettable. But with great tribulation comes great art, and music saved my soul. It's no wonder this list is dominated by dour, dark music — as a mirror of emotion, it's practically flawless.
Dig Boston  |  David Day  |  12-30-2009  |  Music

Music's Wild Ride in 2008new

Campaign songs defined the year:'s "Yes We Can," the McCain Girls' "It's Raining McCain," the crazy Laverne & Shirley theme song updated for Hillary Clinton and the Amigos de Obama's mariachi call to Texas voters, "Viva Obama."
North Bay Bohemian  |  Gabe Meline  |  12-30-2008  |  Music

Why I Still Make Tapesnew

I still make tapes because I have always made tapes, and I tend to continue to do things that I have always done.
North Bay Bohemian  |  Gabe Meline  |  12-19-2008  |  Music

Yes, Something Can Shine Brighter Than

In Baltimore, a low-energy M.I.A. struggled to wow the crowd.
Baltimore City Paper  |  Michael Byrne  |  12-11-2007  |  Concerts


"I put people on the map that never seen a map," M.I.A. boasts on "20 Dollar," her rebel yell accompanied by a distorted New Order sample, borrowed Pixies lyrics and thunderous South Asian beats that swirl behind her proclamations of dissent.
Philadelphia Weekly  |  Caralyn Green  |  12-04-2007  |  Profiles & Interviews

The Music and Mythology of

It was up to M.I.A. to prove that she wasn't a fluke, and she did just that with Kala, a global journey of underground dance, weaving together samples from the Clash, guest spots from Nigerian rappers, cues from Bollywood soundtracks, seizure-inducing album art, and quasi-political phrases
The Portland Mercury  |  Chas Bowie  |  11-15-2007  |  Profiles & Interviews

M.I.A. on Making Troublenew

A kind of audio travelogue of her visits to India, Angola, Liberia, and Trinidad, M.I.A.'s excellent Kala succeeds not just musically it's one of the year's best records but as a powerful symbol of activism in an era of rampant political apathy and self-absorption.
The Georgia Straight  |  Martin Turenne  |  11-12-2007  |  Profiles & Interviews

The Hard Choices at Austin City Limitsnew

The organizers of this year's festival generally did an excellent job, dealing with headliner cancellations, fires and dehydrated sorority girls, but they really gave us a doozy of a decision to make on Friday afternoon: M.I.A. or LCD Soundsystem?
Dallas Observer  |  Jonanna Widner  |  09-25-2007  |  Concerts

'Kala' is a Party Record with a Point of Viewnew

Arular struck just the right balance of radical politics, innovative production and round-the-way appeal for critics and clubgoers to go apeshit, and this ­follow-up follows suit.
Houston Press  |  Chris Gray  |  09-19-2007  |  Reviews

M.I.A. Creates an Exotic Dance Party Par Excellencenew

Arular, the 2005 debut by Mathangi "M.I.A." Arulpragasam, got lotsa reviewers hot and bothered (and deservedly so), but only a relative handful of U.S. listeners succumbed to its multi-culti charms.
Westword  |  Michael Roberts  |  09-10-2007  |  Reviews

M.I.A. Turns a Difficult Year into a Strong Second Albumnew

After breaking up with Diplo, being barred from the States and facing the pressures of the "difficult second album" (for a major U.S. label, no less) made for a very turbulent 2006. But it also produced Kala, and a work ethic that's become M.I.A.'s manifesto.
Montreal Mirror  |  Lorraine Carpenter  |  09-07-2007  |  Profiles & Interviews

M.I.A. Turns Visa Woes into Dancefloor Glorynew

Of all the collaborators and guests on the post-colonial hip-hop hot shot's new album, one looms a bit larger than the rest -- the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
NOW Magazine  |  Benjamin Boles  |  08-24-2007  |  Profiles & Interviews

M.I.A.'s Neon Funknew

Kala could have been the party album of the summer
Creative Loafing (Atlanta)  |  Corey Licht  |  08-22-2007  |  Reviews

Diaspora Jammin'new

In 2005, the global-fusion trend reaped a bountiful harvest of outernational sounds that threatened to overshadow domestic releases in terms of musical innovation, if not pop-cultural magnitude.
New Times Broward-Palm Beach  |  Eric K. Arnold  |  01-03-2006  |  Music

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