M.I.A.
Matangi


3.5
great

Review

by fish CONTRIBUTOR (43 Reviews)
November 11th, 2013 | 23 replies | 1,439 views


Release Date: 11/05/2013 | Tracklist

Review Summary: Don’t mention Yeezus

M.I.A. turns contradictions into an art. She’s a millionaire but outspokenly anti-establishment. She frequently entangles herself the kinds of controversies her fellow pop stars would never dare touch, even if they were allowed to. She’s a 38 year old woman in a genre dominated by male youth and misogyny. She’s a female pop star with a feminist attitude but occasionally dabbles with female sexualisation anyway. Her music blends Western hip hop and pop with ‘World’ influences. Her art in general mixes hip hop extravagance with Hindu imagery with politically charged and socially aware lyricism with often OTT and seemingly nonsensical spirituality (listen to the end of “Y.A.L.A.”).

Whilst some resent her for her brash attitude and perceived hypocrisy, it’s refreshing to have someone with that level of exposure both in control of their own art and creating something so unique and engaging with it. Matangi embodies this personality more completely than maybe anything M.I.A. has yet released, following on well from 2010’s Vicki Leekx mixtape but injecting an even greater Kanye-style spunk and amplifying the bass-heavy production into something even darker and even better. Switch handles most of the production on the album and his impressively simple quasi-industrial beats match both the spiritual and the irate sides of M.I.A.’s lyricism whilst retaining the pounding melodic and rhythmic qualities of club music, especially on the booming intro “Karmageddon” and the sweat-dripping title track. Danja and The Partysquad deserve credit for the album’s highlights however; “Bad Girls”’s Arabic influenced synth line is both the perfect representation of M.I.A.’s bipolar style and catchy as all hell. “Double Bubble Trouble” is just a potential club-banger.

“Bring The Noize” focuses more on M.I.A.’s in-your-face vocals and she still has that delightful way of morphing her rapping into half sung hooks, with “Bad Girls” possible the best song she’s ever released. “Exodus” and “Sexodus” may be distracting if you already know The Weeknd’s “Lonely Star” but there are some interesting harmonies to explore within their dense textures if you’re already familiar with the intricacies of the original. Occasionally M.I.A. oversteps the mark when playing around with her vocals though. The vocal effects on “Only 1 U” and “aTENTion” grate, which is a shame because the shuffling garage influenced production on the latter is exquisite. “Y.A.L.A.”’s vocals are a bit off putting too. Nor are the more pop style tracks like “Come Walk With Me” and “Lights” very interesting, with the notable exception of “Know It Ain’t Right”. Despite these blips, it’s great to hear M.I.A.’s sound come together in such a way, and even when she isn’t quite handling it at the helm the incredibly well balanced production is stellar throughout. “Matangi” is the perfect complement to the 2013 anti-pop/anti-commercialism exemplified by Yeezus, whilst embracing catchy hooks and rhythms throughout. But that’s ok. Probably.



Recent reviews by this author
JMSN †Pllajë†Say Lou Lou Better In The Dark
Sky Ferreira Night Time, My TimeThe Weeknd Kiss Land
NK Nothing To Be Gained HerePhaeleh Tides
user ratings (173)
Chart.
3.5
great
other reviews of this album
Ryan Hoffman (3.5)
While not quite as good as the compositions she made at the peak of her career, Matangi proves that ...

Greg Fisher STAFF (4.2)
M.I.A.'s coming back with power power....

DropdeadWHA (4)
Pure fire....


Comments:Add a Comment 
fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Awful timing with posting this one.

Struggled a bit with the writing too.

Stream: http://www.youtube.com/watch?list=PLCWIaFG72o5bHkrDbl3CBK3reAmDFjL4I&v=2oDK6_T-rk8

Digging: Gesaffelstein - Aleph

oltnabrick
November 10th 2013



30610 Comments


You only listened to this because of The Weeknd.

Digging: Volcanic Queen - Sullen Empire

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

You are wrong

oltnabrick
November 10th 2013



30610 Comments


Probably.

Gwyn.
November 10th 2013



15007 Comments


Yeezus

Digging: diSEMBOWELMENT - Transcendence into the Peripheral

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 10th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Kanye!

breakingthefragile
November 10th 2013



2955 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

RISE OF THE M.I.A. REVIEWS

Digging: The Blood of Heroes - The Blood Of Heroes

Gwyn.
November 10th 2013



15007 Comments


but really cool rev

klap
Staff Reviewer
November 10th 2013



10313 Comments


"entangles herself in"

Digging: Literature - Chorus

GnarlyShillelagh
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2013



6089 Comments


yeezus [2]

Digging: Your Old Droog - Your Old Droog

oltnabrick
November 11th 2013



30610 Comments


She’s a millionaire but outspokenly anti-establishment.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

"entangles herself in"

What's wrong with that

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2013



7360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Ah. Comparing her to Kanye like that. I doubt he had any influence on her. Plus, his new LP is mediocre at best. If any, I think she influenced him. She's been practically spinning similar style since her debut in 2005. I once read that "Maya" started the abrasive trend in hip hop (acts like Death Grips). I can't really disagree with this.

Digging: Royal Blood - Royal Blood

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think we're focusing too much on the one tongue in cheek sentence.

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2013



7360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Two sentences to be exact. I don't agree with both. This album is still reasonably accessible/poppy, especially by comparison with Maya.

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah I said that

greg84
Staff Reviewer
November 11th 2013



7360 Comments

Album Rating: 4.2

Yeah. This sentence is contradictory. First you say 'anti-pop,' then 'catchy hooks and rhythms.'

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yep

fish.
Contributing Reviewer
November 11th 2013



21783 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

that's kinda the point (first paragraph)

BigPleb
November 11th 2013



35896 Comments


fish for staff.



You have to be logged in to post a comment. Login | Create a Profile





FAQ // STAFF & CONTRIBUTORS // SITE FORUM // CONTACT US

Bands: A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z


Site Copyright 2005-2014 Sputnikmusic.com
All Album Reviews Displayed With Permission of Authors | Privacy Policy