1. "Bamboo Banger" starts like a song that doesn't care whether or not it needs to exist or not. After 50 seconds or so there's lots of inane whooping, tribal drumming and whispered sexy bits. At the 1 minute 40 minute she decides to repeat the phrase "M.I.A. coming back with powa-power" a bit, the drummer wakes up and all kinds of shitty hell breaks loose. There's no tune as such, or discernible words, more an indecently filthy groove that might have suited that rave bit in "The Matrix Reloaded" if a gothic gimp hadn't done the soundtrack.
NOTE TO ALL RECORD PRODUCERS: start an album with a song that gets louder and louDER AND LOUDER by the second...
2. "Bird flu" is topical and tropical. Maya seems to have neglected to include any melody, meaning its quite quite brilliant.
3. "Boyz" decided it was the best song of 2007 6 months prematurely, and DOES include something resembling a sequence of notes (but don't hold that against it).
4. Some of you folks will have heard "Jimmy " already. It samples something called the 1980's, sounds like "Ace of Base" thought they did in their heads when they did Bangra remixes and is the "Sunshowers" of the LP (eg. chart worthy and rather fun)
5. "Hussel" has got a guy rapping in it that makes me want to dig out old "Dizzee Rascal" records. It seems like a bit of a grower, is terribly angry, references buying phone credit and has this wicked "tikky tun cha - cha - cha - cha" mid-breakdown
6. "Mango Pickle Down River" will be hated by 95% of the population, and as such deserves to be released as a single. Its got some barely audible folk gruffly rapping in its midst, and makes me want to rub nature-based dirty things on my body...
7. "$20" is a lot of money to pay for a second hand Christina Aguilera record around my parts, but is a decent song title. It also manages to include great swathing chunks of "Where is my mind?" by Pixies in its refrains. Further proof that M.I.A. has gone all hard on us...
8. At first "Down river" is totally inconsequential, until you realise 1 minute in that all the folks in your general vicinity are phoning the police because you're dancing like a zebra on heat. I imagine live they will need at least 17 drummers to pull this song off.
9. "The turn" is quite quiet which is handy after sustaining 30 minutes of barraged abuse. It has words, and sounds in it. But it's not...
10. "XR2", which amazingly I thought was only the best song the girl's ever done when I first heard it. Now, I realise its the best song that a member of the human race has ever done.
11. People seem to like "Paper planes". People are right. It has "gun shots" instead of lyrics in parts, a groove that'd get Mr Motivator to chill out for a bit and acceptable use of children's vocal talents - a feat which NO ONE ELSE EVER has managed [and yes.... of course that includes fucking Justice]
12. All of which leaves Timbaland to tick off M.I.A. from his list of "the 34 artists in the entire world I haven't yet worked with in a 6 month period". He pops up 1 minute and 47 in fact fans, and "Come around" is probably all the better for his inclusion
1+2+3+4+5+6+7+8-9+10+11+12 = 1,453,578 / 10
Lots of boring people will bleat on about "art school bollocks for Shoreditch wankers", "not really being foreign", "Justine "The Architect" Frischmann out of Elastica", "the olympic logo-type artwork" [count the amount of times THAT will be said people], her "terribly annoying and grating voice" and "being politically inept".
These people are, without being judgmental, a bunch of pricks who are missing the point, or rather a refreshing lack off it at times.
Its streaming on her myspace page now should you need further proof than just my word...