M.I.A. - Maya (or M.I.A. is Missing In Action)
Missing In Action. That's what the military term is. Oh those Tamil Tigers really want to know where she is. So where is Maya? I mean besides 'ruffing' it during the making of 'Arular' in Justine Frischman's multimillion dollar London pad or in her current Bel Air mansion. (or so we've heard). I've listened to this album...and I can only find her 25% of the time! I would say on her 1st album 'Arular' M.I.A. was totally 'in action' delivering adventurous beats, groundbreaking sound forging the way for SantiGold and even Rye Rye. And the songs were knockouts.
Enter the latest album 'Maya' where there are some bright spots for sure like 'Xxxo,' 'Steppin Up' 'Meds and Feds' (with help from cowriter/producer Derek Miller from Sleigh Bells, now on M.I.A.'s Neet Records), and even a song like 'Internet Connection' is fun and weird and totally pleasurable.
Now for the low points. As our great poet, Ludacris once said, 'How Low Can You Go?'...there are definitely songs on this album that 1) should not be anywhere near the record and 2) I guarantee if a new unknown artist walked into XL Recordings with some of these they would get thrown out immediately. These offending M.I.A. songs are: 'Teqkilla,' 'Loyalot,' 'Story To Be Told,'...damn, this is going to be a long list. Ok all other songs I didn't mention!
So, what's with the filler and just a little killer? What was the rush? Why do we need 16 songs? This album is tooooo long with tooooo much fluff. Hmm Robyn...where are you...Yes, maybe the path should have been 'The Path of Robyn' Hit us with 6-8 songs like Robyn's 'Body Talk Pt. 1' in an EP shot that are Unbelievable! C'mon Maya...'It Takes A Muscle To Fall In Love?' Really? 'It Iz What Iz' jeez...this one just sounds like a mistake. Like a demo work tape made it's way on the album. I mean...could that be what happened? This isn't even mixed?!
Some insight here might be from previous and sometimes current collaborator and past boytoy, Diplo who said via a Perez Hilton drop: "She didn't care about it. I was in the studio with her, she didn't write anything. Me and Switch tried our best to be quality control of the record and she didn't want that. She kind of went on her own way. I was like, Look, nobody in your crew - we were the only people she could trust, and our asses were on the line too. We got here because of working with people like her."
"We care about the way things sound, and when the people that she works with don't, then it's f!@# up. She's got a talent in every aspect. She's got ideas bigger than any artist I've ever met and she's someone to f!@# make that happen. All she has is a bunch of yes men around her and they kinda suck. I burned like twenty bridges with her. I build my own bridges, it doesn't matter. I'm honest. As soon as she comes to terms with what she does then we can work again. One of us has to be like, We f!@# up, and then we can do it again.'
Random thought...what would you do with a last name that ended in '-gasm' as in Maya Arulpragasam. Hmm. Next album title 'Auralgasm?' Sure!
Key songs...which ARE really excellent and in our opinion should have been the album. Period. These 5 songs as a package would have KILLED and kept M.I.A.'s rep. Let's just hope next album she's I.A. .. 'In Action':
'Meds And Feds'