Yet while Brand has become an icon of radicalism after a ten-minute TV interview, there’s something about pop provocateur Maya Arulpragasam that leads her to be written off as a kook and an oddball. If you’re one such sceptic, I urge you to reconsider and give ‘Matangi’ a listen.
Sonically, it’s as animated and singular as she’s ever been. Kanye may have trumpeted ‘Yeezus’ as a milestone in music, but he was only really drawing himself level with a woman who’s been stirring genres together in a fiery cauldron for years.
From the rousing single ‘Bad Girls’ to more gentle moments (like the new-wave calypso of ‘Lights’), there are joyful lyrical reminders that MIA isn’t scared to be contemporary either. She calls time on the trend of YOLO – cheekily reinventing the acronym as ‘you always live again’ – on ‘YALA’. It’s easy to scoff, but casual mentions of sign-of-the-times tidbits (Instagram, drones, Twitter, offshore banking) make ‘Matangi’ sound a damn sight more like it was made in 2013 than most things you’ll hear this year.
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