Review by: Victoria
Rating: 4 Guns
In 2005 M.I.A released her debut album, “Arluar,” named after her father, a Tamil activist. With “Kala,” M.I.A shows family love by naming her new album after her mother.
M.I.A recorded this album in India, Trinidad, Liberia, Jamaica, Australia, Japan and the US; the songs match the stamps in her passport. “Jimmy” and “Bamboo Banga” are pure Bollywood disco. “Boyz” is a diss to the “many no-money boys” all set to soca (or soul calypso) beat. “Kala” was produced by Switch, Blaqstarr, Morganics, Diplo, and Timbaland and features collaborations with Afrikan Boy, The Wilcannia Mob, and Timbaland.
One of the standout tracks is “Paper Planes,” where M.I.A and a kids choir boldly sing that all they want to do is “come and take your money” to the sounds of gun fire and cash registers. On a side note, I was in a choir as a kid and I never got to sing a lyric about robbing, carrying guns or any other kinds of shenanigans!
M.I.A and her producers were very creative with samples using the Clash’s “Straight To Hell” on “Paper Planes” and using a Pixies lyric from the song “Where Is My Mind?” on the song “20 Dollar”- which is a follow up to M.I.A’s song “10 Dollar” from “Arluar.”
I have a lot of respect for M.I.A because in addition to rapping, M.I.A is a film maker and an artist. M.I.A directs her own videos and creates the artwork for her albums and singles. A collection of her works has been displayed in museums in London and published in a book called Pocko.