M.I.A.
AIM


2.0
poor

Review

by Jordan M. STAFF
September 14th, 2016 | 151 replies


Release Date: 2016 | Tracklist

Review Summary: What's going on?

You know Donald Trump wants to be president, right" It's a big fucking deal. But I'd forgive your lack of interest. After all, the U.K. is leaving the EU, Syria is collapsing under civil war, and the West is generally embracing anti-immigration populism en masse. There's a lot going on. Usually, it would be prime material for M.I.A. She's built a career on songs like "Paper Planes" that address these global problems. She sounds fun. She sounds loose. She sounds cool. But, in that particular example, she can sharply critique market integration, and that's worth something. It's the extra layer of lyrical depth that makes it a M.I.A. song. It's a quality lacking in AIM, a lackluster mid-career effort billed as her final album. She doesn't have an eye on the headlines, and she hasn't got much to say about herself. She just doesn't sound like the M.I.A. who sang, 'All I wanna do is... take your money,' and she certainly doesn't sound as effortlessly cool as she did on Matangi. She sounds bored. A lack of topicality isn't the only problem with AIM but its certainly the most glaring; in the absence of wit, M.I.A. sounds like a bad imitation of herself.

It should come as no surprise that AIM is M.I.A.'s most staid album yet. Musically, it does little else than appropriate Eastern motifs over trap drums (appropriation in this case meaning lazy rather than offensive). There's bangers- even Matangi had them- but they're decidedly more perfunctory than before, with better tracks like "Swords" or the Diplo remix of "Bird Song" reduced to bonus track status. It's not totally irredeemable; "Visa" is a decently competent throwback to classic M.I.A., and the sparing interpolation of Zayn's moaning on "Freedun" emphasizes one of the album's better melodies; were it not for bragging about being from 'Swagistan', it might even have been a highlight. Alas, AIM is lyrically lackluster. Particularly for M.I.A., every surface-level observation about borders only hinders her message ("Jump In", "A.M.P.", and, "Borders"). Her blasé delivery doesn't help. Of course, M.I.A. doesn't owe us anything. She's a private citizen, and private citizens can become disenchanted with the news. It's disappointing though that, given we're just minutes from midnight, she doesn't want to save us. In the past she's proven to be a scathing critic of neoliberal complacency. Now she says things like, 'Borders / What's up with that"' I don't know M.I.A., what is up with that"



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user ratings (113)
Chart.
2.4
average

Comments:Add a Comment 
timebetweentrains
September 13th 2016


88 Comments


Only heard Go Off, and Borders (which I thought was terrible)

Go Off was enjoyable though. Will prob listen to it entirely since I like some of her past stuff.



iloveyouall
September 13th 2016


6319 Comments


pos

Tyler.
September 13th 2016


16688 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

: ( ok so what tracks should I check from this

Gyromania
September 13th 2016


26859 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

Aw man. I loved go off, was really looking forward to thus

theNateman
September 14th 2016


3629 Comments


I listened to this and it made me nostalgic for kala. So I went back and jammed kala

Digging: Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?

Anthracks
September 14th 2016


6271 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Go Off and Borders are so fuckin' amazing how can you not rec them



Only heard Borders, Go Off, and the "Whats up with that?" song (which I thought was terrible)



Borders and Go Off were enjoyable though.




Borders IS the "What's up with that?" song. Fail.

Digging: TR/ST - The Destroyer ? Part 1

brandontaylor
September 14th 2016


793 Comments

Album Rating: 2.5

i knew this would be bad. oh well at least go off was great

Tunaboy45
September 14th 2016


16734 Comments


To the surprise of absolutely no one, it sucks

Digging: PUP - Morbid Stuff

Sinternet
September 14th 2016


19127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

fuck you this rules ur all fucking dumb as shit

Digging: Marina - LOVE

RadicalEd
September 14th 2016


9510 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

agreed with this review.

Digging: Fennesz - Agora

DoofusWainwright
September 14th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Is this aimless by any chance?

DoofusWainwright
September 14th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Cover uses same colour palette as Life of Pablo = instant 1.5

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2016


14242 Comments


Fuck off speaking for people tuna you utter pleb

Digging: Xiu Xiu - Plays The Music Of Twin Peaks

DoofusWainwright
September 14th 2016


19991 Comments

Album Rating: 1.5

Great review, I'm not sure her style was ever one I had the term 'longevity' written down next to

Mort.
Contributing Reviewer
September 14th 2016


14242 Comments


also Freedun is hilarious, the swagistan line is brilliant

Sinternet
September 14th 2016


19127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

love how in your face and controversial she is on this whole record, got a positive review i'm working on



however i do think i prefer Matangi and Maya to this, they just sounded a bit bigger and more grand and artistic, but i'm not opposed to the more simplistic approach on this album, this is definitely her most immediate project

Storm In A Teacup
September 14th 2016


26502 Comments


MIA's potential was through the roof back in the day day :-/ maybe i'll agree with sinternet that you all suck and this rocks but I am doubtful.

gryndstone
September 14th 2016


1239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

The verses on Borders are the most hilarious thing to me

Digging: Glen Hansard - This Wild Willing

Sinternet
September 14th 2016


19127 Comments

Album Rating: 4.0

they pretty fire yea

gryndstone
September 14th 2016


1239 Comments

Album Rating: 2.0

really makes u think...Whats up with that...



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