M.I.A.
VICKI LEEKX


4.0
excellent

Review

by Conrad Tao EMERITUS
December 31st, 2010 | 65 replies | 21,280 views


Release Date: 2010 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Maya's got mujahadeen, can't sing, and ends the year with a bang.

2010 has not been particularly kind to Maya Arulpragasam. By this point, we all know the story - the once-excellent artist thrust into sudden fame lets her ego get the best of her, tweets a journalist's phone number after an unflattering profile in the New York Times Magazine, starts spewing bullshit like "Google and Facebook were invented by the C.I.A." and releases a record that's nothing but self-aggrandizing noise (with a stupidly stylized title as well!). Except that MAYA was so much more than that - aside from being an utterly gripping listen, it was an oddly prescient work that focused on how fame, self-absorption, and politics were becoming increasingly muddled together. "We're growing up in middle of the digital ruckus." This line, crucial in its summation of MAYA's overall concept, doesn't appear on VICKI LEEKX, M.I.A.'s new mixtape, but its presence is very much felt.

Which means that VICKI LEEKX will probably be met with the same polarized response that MAYA encountered; that exploitative title certainly won't help matters. But this time, the music is less insistently discordant, forgoing the jarring (and literal) drill-and-bass of "Steppin' Up" for something slightly more...well, it's hard to say if accessible is the right word. This stuff is still pretty messy, after all, continuing to work in the schizophrenic Internet-driven vein of MAYA. But songs like "Gen-N-E-Y" and "Bad Girls" have more traditional beats and hooks, rendering them more immediate than, say, "Lovalot". Their lyrics are also more intelligible, giving the former track's chorus of "you can have my money but you can't have me" an extra punch.

A line like that exemplifies precisely why M.I.A. has been vilified by so many people this year; her marriage to the wealthy scion of the Seagram company in particular incited outrage among those with self-righteous ideals about "genuineness" or "authenticity". Such criticisms aren't necessarily invalid, but they are a bit irrelevant, since one of the reasons we ever paid attention to Arulpragasam in the first place was her bundle of contradictions. "I'm not talking about getting it for free. I'm talking about making it...freer," M.I.A. says early in the mixtape. It's a great slogan, sure, but it's also ridden with paradoxes, not to mention practically meaningless. So my ear instead focuses on the chaotic production, which melds videogame blips with tribal drums and lo-fi beats that wouldn't sound out of place on that freaky Gonjasufi album.

Not that we should just ignore the mixtape's typically murky politics in favor of just sitting back and enjoying the ride, but isn't it just that much more enjoyable to do so? It's silly to search for a cogent intellectual thread in VICKI LEEKX, especially when there are bangers like the intoxicating Blaqstarr-driven "Let Me Hump You" placed alongside a glitchy remix of "Meds and Feds". The computerized voice that opens the proceedings is more comic than anything else, saying: "We choose the right format. We leak the information to the public. And we defend ourselves against inevitable legal and political attacks." Right. I mean, at this point, we could either take M.I.A. seriously or interpret this as a piss-take and we'd reach the same conclusion, so what's the point of trying to look at this - which is more a celebration of the powers of the Internet than an actual statement about freedom of information - through the prism of intellectual analysis? If this mixtape is, for the most part, less interesting and focused conceptually than MAYA was, it's also more fun. "Hey, you wanna be the next big thing?/get thing, do anything...but you can't sing," M.I.A. chants knowingly (and good-humoredly) in "Marsha/Britney". Maya Arulpragasam might have had a rough year, but with VICKI LEEKX, she's ended it with a bang.



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Comments:Add a Comment 
conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

My take on the new M.I.A. release. It was quite a nice surprise.

HAPPY NEW YEAR GUYS

robertsona
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2010



14884 Comments


this sounds aweosme, i was one of the elite few who loved maya too so ill check it

MunsuLight
December 31st 2010



535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I will check this out when it will came out. Loved everything she did.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

download it free here: http://vickileekx.com/

i love these end-of-year gifts from artists

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



10553 Comments


Wonderful work conrad, as usual!

Digging: Saintseneca - Dark Arc

conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

HOLY SHIT WHAT A FEATURE

edit: just checked the meds thread. thanks, elijah :3

MassiveAttack
December 31st 2010



2684 Comments


ITS THE BEST FEATURE YET!

Sousa
December 31st 2010



41 Comments

Album Rating: 3.0

She's still not as good as she was. and the douchebaggery in her claims still stink it up a bit, but it was a lot better than her last album

patroneyes
December 31st 2010



1919 Comments


what is with the tracklist

conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

The mix is one 36-minute track.

MunsuLight
December 31st 2010



535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks Conrad. But I don't know if I will be able to take a 36 minute track -_- Why can't they separate the tracks . Or Can i find another link for it?

patroneyes
December 31st 2010



1919 Comments


ah, i see.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Well it's meant to be listened to as a whole, so I can understand why it isn't separated. I'm sure that somebody will split it eventually, but until then, I heartily recommend downloading it and listening to it in one sitting. It's really not that painful! (Then again, I tend to always listen to albums all the way through, so I have a different view on things :3)

MunsuLight
December 31st 2010



535 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

I tend to listen to albums all the way through, but with hip-hop, electronic, or whatever you call it it's harder unless it's amazing. But since I loved everything she has done, it will be easier I think even if I'm more in a metal phase.

Edit: Someone already splitted the parts XD Ah Internet !

Xenophanes
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



10553 Comments


Np. I'm always on the look out for new releases to be featured, as you know, December usually doesn't have many!

Irving
Staff Reviewer
December 31st 2010



7011 Comments


Goddammit Conrad - stop making the rest of us look bad!!

(pos)

Digging: Pixies - Indie Cindy

Gyromania
December 31st 2010



14653 Comments


Goddammit Conrad - stop making the rest of us look bad!!

Pretty much this^ Outstanding review, bud.

conradtao
Emeritus
December 31st 2010



2088 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Thanks, guys. I'm hanging around the Times Square area with this on repeat...the amount of people here is ridiculous.

FromDaHood
Contributing Reviewer
January 1st 2011



8958 Comments


conrad, you're a fucking G, get fucking contributor dog

Digging: Waxahatchee - Cerulean Salt

Defeater
January 1st 2011



5782 Comments


what's with this dumb bitch and caps

bitch needs to stop ragin



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