M.i.a. - Kala
The blogosphere is a fickle thing. Bloggers far and wide are ranting and raving and rambling and generally complaining, distributing their opinions on things as diverse as music all the way to the idiosyncrasies of their dog when they sleep. Universally, all blogs are virtually alike--especially concerning music. Websites like Pitchfork to small time blogs on Blogspot and Wordpress all flaunt the same music. The blogosphere is supposed to be diverse but their opinions concerning music are alike. This makes no sense. These pompous trend-setters are really just trendwhores and they are ruining the talent for us normal folk.
Which brings us to M.I.A's Kala, her sophomore release. Granted, this is the one artist all these blogosphere writers have right. She is an incredibly talented musician that composes dance-pop tracks with an intoxicatingly refreshing influence of hiphop and the perfect dash of culture. I think it would be insulting to not admit that M.I.A's background and her own culture doesn't influence her music. It does. But the amazing thing that M.I.A. does is shows restraint. She allows to influence the music, not overwhelm with it.
I think restraint could also be a fault in the album. Songs like "Boyz" seem to need more of that cultured persona in them. It just seems to be a slightly empty track without it. When M.I.A. doesn't hold back ("Hussel"), your senses are overloaded. M.I.A. has the cure of choice, the just right porridge with tracks like "Paper Planes."
I could continue with metaphysical jumble but that would probably cause my first paragraph to seem asinine, so I'll live dust to the wind. Kala is one of the most amazing albums of 2007, but it has its missteps, at the same time, it has those big steps that you can rely on to help lead you to your destination: enjoyment.
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on 2008-03-31 dscanland Said:
I completely agree with you Kevin, Kala is over-rated. Arular is so much better. I was excited for Kala but let down.
on 2008-03-30 kev_stev Said:
Okay, so I bought Kala and I gotta say I think this is another one of pitchfork's evil doings. I mean, I don't think this album is that big of a deal; "Hussel" and "Paper Planes" are great songs, as Sean said, but other than that, this album gets tiresome quickly. I think people like this album because they're told what to like: yes, it has culture, but that sure as hell doesn't make it 4-star-worthy. I think I'll take my two singles and put this album up on the shelf as merely eye-candy.
on 2008-01-02 kev_stev Said:
awesome review; very well-written. i haven't listened to this album, but i've heard about it on countless sites, too. maybe i'll check it out now after all.
on 2007-08-16 b0arder753 Said:
M.I.A.'s new album Kala is definitely not average.. it is much below average. I'll admit I jumped on the bandwagon with her debut, but looking back that album was painful. This album follows in it's predecessors footsteps with sick beats, way too many sounds cluttering the atmosphere, and cringe-worthy lyrics. I don't know why, but every time M.I.A. says "Holla" on "Come Around" I can't help but feel bad for her. M.I.A.'s "Jimmy" sounds like a song off the soundtrack for a Bollywood version of Saturday Night Fever, "Paper Planes" might fit someone gangster without a british accent, but M.I.A. just won't cut it.