Something that doesn't happen every day is when a classic album comes out, the album that will be heard and loved until the sun burns out, the album that will be picked apart for decades by so many people, these albums are quite rare. You know the ones... But you don't know all of them. Some classics are very ahead of there time, and might not be understood right away, but with time, comes understanding. A great example of this is Autobahn by Kraftwerk. To this day Kraftwerk virgins are hearing something so differemt, I can only imagine how people in the early 70's took it. With time, came understanding, and Autobahn has garnered extreme respect (maybe overshadowed by the slightly less classic Trans Europe Express, but I digress).
Call me crazy, go ahead. Wouldn't be the first time I've heard that regarding this issue, but I believe that when the dust settles, and M.I.A. has released a coulple of albums and shoots up to Eminem, Usher, The White Stripes etc. plateau, critics will look back at Arular and see something that wasn't there before. I see M.I.A.'s career panning out like Björk's: She will carve out a new genre that is as uncopyable as those nifty new 10 Dollar Bills. And like Björk, she will have a very strong fan base, that are just straight up geeky when It comes to her (I'm already one of them)
On the surface, to the casual listener, Arular sounds like a genre crossing experiment, with nice beats and an odd and (to some) an annoying voice (once again, like Björk), but to the deep music fan that spends more time with music than sleep, this album is a masterpiece, like nothing ever heard before. Wha genre do you put her in? She has a Reggae voice, Electronica beats, Rap lines, and a Punk attitude. What do you do with her? Who cares, just sit back and jump on the M.I.A. bandwagon, because she is a superstar in the making.
1. Banana (Skit) - Those who know me know my policy, no skits reviewed, that said, all the skits are awesome and I never skip them.
2. Pull Up The People - M.I.A. comes out swinging with a very great beat and beneath the hook are good lyrics, If you don't know M.I.A.'s history, learn it, it'll help with enjoying the album better. In this song M.I.A. describes the troubles of Battle and her hook is unrelenting until the end of the song
3. Bucky Done Gun - The song that made me track down M.I.A. and this album. The beat sounds familiar because it is looped Rocky horns, and it deserves a 5 for finding a way to not make looped rocky horns sound annoying alone, but it gets a five because her verses are great on this, and the pounding drums make it both dancable from a musical standpoint, and listenable from a lyrical standpoint.
4. Sunshowers - This song may be the most genius on the album. The first time I heard the song, It appeared as if it was a sweet song about someone, which, following the previous 2 songs, seemed on that this was such a sweet song, but the more I listened to it, the more I realized the it is the exact opposite of a sunny, sweet song. It is about racism. And even talks about a man getting murdered because he associated himself with Muslims. The fact that this song appears as something completely different amazes me
5. Fire, Fire - The Most Unrelnting beat on the album, pure electronica here. The lyrics are pure combat mixed with musical inspirations, with the hook being "Competition coming up now / Load up. Aim. Fire! Fire! Pop!" but drops inspirations to people such as the Pixies, beatles, Lou Reed, the Beasties (Beastie Boys), "Missy on a Timbaland" (A Missy Elliot Song Produced By Timbaland). Just an awesome song all around.
6. Dash The Curry Skit - N/A
7. Amazon - Easily my favorite song on this album. This song gives me goosebumps every time I hear it. It's definately her most descriptive song. It is about her getting kidnapped from Acton and being taken to the Amazon. Where at first she is frientened and begs to go home, or at least to be able to contact her family. but towards the end of the song she shows growing signs of Stockholms Syndrome (A syndrome where kidnap victims sympathize and sometimes grow to love their kidnappers) "Minutes turned to hours and became our dates
when we shared raindrops that turned into lakes Bodies started merging and the lines got grey. Now I'm looking at him thinking Maybe he's okay" And the hook that started out as "Hello, this is M.I.A. , Could you please come get me" Becomes "Hello, this is M.I.A. , It's OK You forgot me". Just a masterpice song in a masterpiece album.
8. Bingo - The most Reggae song on the album. Very poppy and likeable, which is a relief to some, because a lot of this album is dark, but this song is very upbeat and likeable
9. Hombre - IMO the most underrated song on the album. The song is about being in a relationship with a man who is cheating on his girlfriend/Wife, who turns out to be very desceptive. He promises her a family and a new life but doesn't deliver. This is such a great songs, and one of my favorite beats on the album.
10. One For The Head Skit - N/A
11. 10 Dollar - The most Rap inspired song on the album. Another great pounding beat (Probably the best on the album) about a Sri Lanken Protistute that basically had sex with men to get a Visa, she describes the situation and girl wonderfully with very clever lines "F**k gold, she was a platinum digger / Shakin ass, makin moves on a mover" Definately and album highlight
12. U.R.A.Q.T. - This song made me feel dumb, I had no clue what the title meant unil my fifth listen (You Are A Cutie), This song is about a girl who is trying to steal her boyfriend "Dt-dt-dt on your mobile phone, Dt-dt-dt on your mobile phone. You f**k my man and wreck my home I'll get my bro to rob your phone"
The song like 10 dollar, is very clefverly written with plenty of metaphors and decsriptive lines. Another great beat that samples the Sanford & Son theme, M.I.A. really shows her alents at everything in this song.
13. Galang - So much more than that song in the Civic commercial. The most dancable track on the album, virtually unskippable, with great lyrics tht probably won't make sense for a couple of listens. What may seem like a club track can be seen as a song about trafficing. it can be taken many ways, but overall, it is just a great song to listen to
14. [Hidden Track] M.I.A. - If I have one problem with this track, it's that it's hodden, I feel it's one of the lyrically strongest on the album and should be embraced fully. This song is about consumerism and leaders of countries control the flow and don't truly represent most poeple. And no, It is not a great end to a great album
it's an amazing end to a classic album.
Throw stones at me if you must, but there is no way i'm changing my mind. There was a 1 month period where I honestly only listened to this cd, I listened to it at least 3 times a day and know basically every milisecond to this album, If anyone knows this album, it's me. and If you've ever heard the term "ZOMFG, I'M [insert Artist name]'s BIGGEST FAN" I'd like to let it be known that i'm that person. And very soon, whether you understood Arular or not, she will blow up. And i'll be right here, reviewing her, and telling you "haha, told you"