By: Kyle McMahan, Staff Writer and KCOU Social Media Director/Bad Girl
Matangi is a Hindu goddess of music and spoken word in addition to being the namesake of Mathangi Arulpragasm (M.I.A.) and this album. In her semi-self-titled fourth album, M.I.A. does her best to channel this goddess. Taking the year’s whole “rappers as deities” thing and just running with it. The meditative first track “Karmageddon” prepares the listener for Matangi as the song ends with the line “you’re about to meet your karma.” The title track sets the tone for the album in the same way that “On Sight” set the tone for Yeezus; however, Matangi seems less vengeful as she chants “it’s so simple get to the floor” and seems more intent on moving the crowd. “Only 1 U” keeps the energy up as it transforms to embrace a trancy Indian outro.
Keeping this in mind it’s no surprise that M.I.A. is suddenly insisting that flipping the bird (cue Top Gun montage) at the Superbowl was actually a religious symbol because several songs on Matangi address this fact head on. “Warriors”, which is packed full of every sound possible, mentions “M.I.A. mudra middle finger” alluding to the mudra of the goddess Matangi. Also “Boom Skit”, which is packed full of references for a 75 second song, is directly targeted at the Superbowl; obvious in the line, “Let you in the Superbowl, you tried to steal Madonna’s crown” and even “Double Bubble Trouble” has M.I.A. assuring us that she has a reputation (which we all now is for being fabulous, a little terrifying, and not caring what you think).
Honestly, in its ability to successfully combine a literal world of genres Matangi could have rivaled Yeezus, had it been a shorter album; however the third single “Come Walk With Me” has way too much going on and the two songs that sample The Weeknd turned out rather dull. Fortunately M.I.A. redeems herself with the sheer ferocity of the tracks “Bad Girls”, “Bring the Noize”, “Warriors” and “Double Bubble Trouble”. But after repeated listens it becomes obvious that M.I.A. might actually be at her best when she doesn’t give a fuck, unlike Kanye who still does, although he may claim otherwise. But don’t group her in with all those YOLOers, “Y.A.L.A.” disses Drake’s motto ending the song with a speech, “YOLO? I don’t even know anymore, what that even mean though…”
8/10 Future YALA tats
Double Bubble Trouble
Kyle is senior Biology Major who wants to one day engineer a new flavor of Doritos Locos taco. He is KCOU’s Social Media Director and co-hosts Anglophiles Anonymous. He was also Charlie Kelly for Halloween,which was pretty cool, but has more than a “tenuous grasp on the English language.”