Kala CD (2007)

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Product Overview

Even before M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam) debuted in 2005 with ARULAR, the blogosphere was already abuzz about her, engaging in the kind of discourse normally reserved for academic dissertations. Whether hailed as a canny postmodern pastiche or dismissed as inauthentic cultural pirating, the music, a lively pan-global mash-up of regional dance music styles, seemed to be emanating simultaneously from every ghetto, favela, and council-flat within earshot. As if to call out her detractors, M.I.A. returns for another shot of explosive, politically charged and globally conscious dance music on her second album, KALA.

Lacking the patchwork quality of the debut, KALA is a more cohesive and polished affair, though it matches its predecessor for shear visceral thrills. Recorded across several different continents, and featuring the production talents of Timbaland, Switch, and Blaqstarr, as well as longstanding collaborator Diplo, the globetrotting beat makers mine sources as varied as funk carioca, Baltimore bounce, and the occasional ludicrously placed sound-effect (a squawking chicken). The gloriously bombastic lead single, "Boyz," kicks off the party with a blaring horn loop, carnival percussion, and a stuttering Bollywood vocal sample, while M.I.A. merrily chants the chorus in her sing-song faux patois. The twittering, beat-heavy "Bird Flu" sounds a bit like what you might expect--jagged beats create syncopated poly-rhythms, while birds chirp feverishly against Arulpragasam's bratty invective. But the irreverent cultural re-appropriation doesn't stop at her borrowing from the third world; clever nods to the Clash, New Order, and even Jonathan Richman appear in unexpected and cheeky combinations, offering further proof that M.I.A.'s potent cross-cultural grab bag is as sonically audacious as ever.

Specifications

Label Universal Music Group
SKU 205116526
UPC 602517425651
UPC 14 00602517425651
Format CD
Release Date 8/21/2007
Links
Author M.i.a.
Compilation Appearance Fast And Furious (Explicit Version)
Compilation Appearance Fast Furious (Ost)
Compilation Appearance Bling Ring (Ost)(Explicit Version)
Compilation Appearance Pay Close Attention:xl Recordings
Compilation Appearance Total
Compilation Appearance MDNA (Deluxe Explicit Version)
Associated Artist/Work Diplo
Associated Artist/Work M.I.A. (Punk)
Associated Artist/Work Mia
Associated Artist/Work SebastiAn (France)
Artist Influence Cutty Ranks
Artist Influence Grace Jones
Artist Influence Lady Saw
Artist Influence Lizzy Mercier Descloux
Artist Influence Missy Elliott
Artist Influence Monie Love
Artist Influence Neneh Cherry
Artist Influence The Slits
Artist Influence Twin Twin
Artist Contemporary Basement Jaxx
Artist Contemporary Blaqstarr
Artist Contemporary Bonde do Rol?
Artist Contemporary Catcall
Artist Contemporary Die Antwoord
Artist Contemporary Ebony Bones
Artist Contemporary Elliphant
Artist Contemporary Kanye West
Artist Contemporary Kreayshawn
Artist Contemporary Lady Sovereign
Artist Contemporary Major Lazer
Artist Contemporary Maluca
Artist Contemporary Mapei
Artist Contemporary Ms. Dynamite
Artist Contemporary Revl9n
Artist Contemporary Roots Manuva
Artist Contemporary Rye Rye (Rapper)
Artist Contemporary Santigold
Artist Contemporary Sleigh Bells
Artist Contemporary Spank Rock
Artist Contemporary The D.O.T. (UK)
Artist Contemporary The Streets (Producer)
Artist Contemporary The Very Best
Artist Contemporary THEESatisfaction
Artist Contemporary Uffie
Artist Follower Nicki Minaj
Technical Info
Engineer Larry 'Live' Lyons; Marty Green
Producer Timbaland; Switch; M.I.A.; Timbaland; Switch; Diplo; Morganics; M.I.A.
CatalogID 000965902
Lable Name XL/Interscope
Released 08/21/2007
Original Release 2007
Number of Discs 1
SPARE Code n/a
Length 47m : 34s
Mono/Stereo Stereo
Studio/Live Studio
UPC 00602517425651
Album Notes and Credits
Personnel: DJ Ability (scratches); The Wilcannia Mob.
Additional personnel: Afrikan Boy, Timbaland.
Audio Mixers: Switch ; Mark "Spike" Stent.
Photographers: M.I.A. ; Liz Johnson Artur; Michael Kamber; Janette Beckman.
Even before M.I.A. (Maya Arulpragasam) debuted in 2005 with ARULAR, the blogosphere was already abuzz about her, engaging in the kind of discourse normally reserved for academic dissertations. Whether hailed as a canny postmodern pastiche or dismissed as inauthentic cultural pirating, the music, a lively pan-global mash-up of regional dance music styles, seemed to be emanating simultaneously from every ghetto, favela, and council-flat within earshot. As if to call out her detractors, M.I.A. returns for another shot of explosive, politically charged and globally conscious dance music on her second album, KALA.
Lacking the patchwork quality of the debut, KALA is a more cohesive and polished affair, though it matches its predecessor for shear visceral thrills. Recorded across several different continents, and featuring the production talents of Timbaland, Switch, and Blaqstarr, as well as longstanding collaborator Diplo, the globetrotting beat makers mine sources as varied as funk carioca, Baltimore bounce, and the occasional ludicrously placed sound-effect (a squawking chicken). The gloriously bombastic lead single, "Boyz," kicks off the party with a blaring horn loop, carnival percussion, and a stuttering Bollywood vocal sample, while M.I.A. merrily chants the chorus in her sing-song faux patois. The twittering, beat-heavy "Bird Flu" sounds a bit like what you might expect--jagged beats create syncopated poly-rhythms, while birds chirp feverishly against Arulpragasam's bratty invective. But the irreverent cultural re-appropriation doesn't stop at her borrowing from the third world; clever nods to the Clash, New Order, and even Jonathan Richman appear in unexpected and cheeky combinations, offering further proof that M.I.A.'s potent cross-cultural grab bag is as sonically audacious as ever.
Artist Overview
The daughter of a former member of Sri Lankan rebel group the Tamil Tigers, singer/rapper M.I.A. grew up in London where she was schooled on American hip-hop, U.K. club sounds, and world rhythms. With all these sounds in tow, M.I.A. went on to create an infectious, hyperactive, cross-cultural musical hybrid best represented by her ubiquitous 2004 single, "Galang." A stridently political performer (noticeable in everything from her visual art to her music), M.I.A.'s often controversial status as an activist came to a head in 2006 when she was denied a visa and entry into the United States.
Professional Reviews
Rolling Stone (p.65) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "It's heavier, noisier, more jagged....KALA strikes deep....A riot of human, musical and mechanical sounds bubbles underneath these tracks."
Rolling Stone (p.107) - Included in Rolling Stone's "50 Top Albums of the Year 2007" -- "M.I.A.'s second album was an international block party with a sonic imagination nobody could match all year."
Spin (p.127) - 4.5 stars out of 5 -- "M.I.A.'s border-crossing dance pop is a revolutionary manifesto set the victory party vibe of the future."
Entertainment Weekly (p.133) - "KALA is propelled by genuinely stellar moments: the manic thrall of 'Jimmy,' the ferocious gunshot-chorused 'Paper Planes.'" -- Grade: B
Uncut (p.87) - 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] head-spinning equatorial dash....She twangs the boundaries of taste both lyrically and musically. But a knockout's a knockout..."
The Wire (p.57) - "She has kept her globetrotting spirit intact in later years -- for Kala she's harvested inspiration and sounds from streets on every continent."
The Wire (p.37) - Ranked #8 in The Wire's "Top Ten Records of the Year 2007" -- "[The] album saw her in transcontinental globetrotting mode in search of the tribal beats, engine sounds and local pop samples mishmashed into KALA."
Q (Magazine) (p.76) - Ranked #34 in Q's "The 50 Best Albums Of 2007" -- "[H]ip hop by way of Africa, the Caribbean and the Indian subcontinent..."
Disc 1
1 Bamboo Banga
2 Bird Flu
3 Boyz
4 Jimmy
5 Hussel
6 Mango Pickle Down River
7 20 Dollar
8 World Town
9 Turn, The
10 XR2
11 Paper Planes
12 Come Around
Product Attributes
Artist M.i.a.
Label Universal Music Group
Music Format Compact Disc

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