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127 customer reviews

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Audio CD, August 21, 2007
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Kala + Arular + /\/\ /\ Y /\ [Deluxe Edition]
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

M.I.A. is UK singer/rapper Maya Arulpragasam. Her 2005 debut album Arular unleashed her devastating dislocated beats, pounding basslines and chant-along vocals. M.I.A.'s unparalleled mongrel mix of hip-hop, ragga, dancehall, electro and punk saw Arular garner praise from far and wide, including being short listed for the Mercury Music Prize. In the USA M.I.A. signed with Interscope and hit the road opening for Gwen Stefani. M.I.A. is now set to release her second studio album, Kala. Amazing talent join forces with her on the new album, including Diplo, Timbaland, DJ Blaqstarr, Three 6 Mafia and producer, Switch.

Maya Arulpragasam, the British-based daughter of Sri Lankan refugees, delivered one of 2005's eye-popping debuts, Arular. For an album that proudly flaunted tin-can production, indecipherable South London slang, and lyrical nods to suicide bombers, it brought the woman who records under the name M.I.A. unexpected mainstream success--she followed its release by touring North America with Gwen Stefani and recording with Missy Elliott and Timbaland, while the single "Galang" made its way into a car commercial. Kala (the first release was named after her freedom-fighting father, this one after her mother) throws Arulpragasam's newfound pop credentials into the bustle of Bollywood rhythms, police sirens, 8-bit dancehall beats, Third World car horns, and street singers. Recorded across several continents, it presents a far more dynamic listening experience than her first album, especially with tracks like "Bamboo Banga," "Jimmy," and "Paper Planes." It's no less exhausting, though. What with the New Order sample, Timbaland cameo, and gunshot sound effects, there isn't a moment when it doesn't feel like you've unintentionally invited an entire carnival into your home. --Aidin Vaziri

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
  1. Bamboo BangaM.I.A. 4:58$1.29  Buy MP3 
  2. Bird FluM.I.A. 3:23$1.29  Buy MP3 
  3. BoyzM.I.A. 3:27$1.29  Buy MP3 
  4. JimmyM.I.A. 3:28$1.29  Buy MP3 
  5. Hussel [feat. Afrikan Boy]M.I.A. 4:24$0.99  Buy MP3 
  6. Mango Pickle Down River [feat. The Wilcannia Mob]M.I.A. 3:53$0.99  Buy MP3 
  7. 20 DollarM.I.A. 4:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
  8. World TownM.I.A. 3:53$1.29  Buy MP3 
  9. The TurnM.I.A. 3:52$0.99  Buy MP3 
10. XR2M.I.A. 4:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
11. Paper PlanesM.I.A. 3:23$0.69  Buy MP3 
12. Come Around (Album Version (Edited)) [feat. M.I.A.] [Clean]Timbaland 3:54$1.29  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (August 21, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: XL Recordings
  • ASIN: B000TJ6CM2
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (127 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #34,705 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

123 of 142 people found the following review helpful By W. E. Phillips VINE VOICE on August 20, 2007
Format: Audio CD
M.I.A.'s (Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam) amazing debut album, Arular, garnered many dedicated fans. One of them just happened to be mega-producer Timbaland. He was so enthusiastic, in fact, that he wanted to work with her for her sophomore release. Of course Maya obliged and she even cried tears of happiness. But before she could begin collaborating with him, a little--okay, a big--obstacle came up; the Sri Lankan was not allowed to enter the United States for ten months due to visa troubles. Some artists would just quit right then and there, but that's not how she operates. M.I.A. figured that if she couldn't come into the US, then she would go and create her art everywhere else on the globe. And that's what she did. Kala was recorded in many locations, including India, London, Australia, Africa and Trinidad.

Maya's first album, named after her father, was raw and unapologetically fierce. M.I.A. herself admitted the album was rather "masculine." However, Kala is, among other things, softer and more personal. It's only right that she named it after her mother. Maya's father doesn't think mom deserves the privilege. (Supposedly, the two are very competitive). But I would have to disagree with Papa Arulpragasam. When he left his family to become a freedom fighter, his jobless wife had to support her children and provide for them. Not only is she deserving of the title for respect's sake, but also because her struggle is represented in many of the songs. In tracks like "$20," Maya sounds less like the rambunctious girl we met on her debut and more like a tired and slightly bitter mother who has seen the cruelty of the world, trying to find hope and meaning somewhere. But still... there's strength! Power. (In the absolute best way possible, of course).
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Scott B. Saul on June 25, 2011
Format: Audio CD
I'm a 48 year old rock fan. My tastes favor funk, jam band, rock, blues and soul. I say this because I recognize that I may not be the most qualified, because of a generation gap, to evaluate this type of music.

At the same time, I AM a big music fan that would never exclude any type of music from partaking. Whether I enjoy the genre or not, good music is good music.

M.I.A. is definitely an exciting artist (I hope this is her vision and not more the work of a production team). She's gorgeous, exotic, creative, energetic and provocative. This is daring and wild stuff. It's actually more than just "music" since there is so much of an aural color going on.

"Paper Planes" and "Jimmy" are my highlights. The sampling is remarkable and, in some ways, scary and alarming (gunshots used percussively?!). I also like them the most since they resemble conventional song structure.

Now, my age is going to show...the rest of the songs are interesting, but it's hard to categorize them as songs since, to me, they resemble chants...which eventually grow tiresome. Some of these tunes sound like cheerleading routines put to a variety of sonic expressions.

I have seen clips of her performing and she does not come close to replicating this stuff live. I'm not just referring to the obvious sampling, which will be obviously lost out in performance, but also the high energy.

M.I.A. is a diamond in the rough. If she can take her daring, innovational wildness, apply it to a little more conventional songwriting structure (like "Paper Planes"), yet still retain that exoticism ( I know easier said than done), then I feel she extends her appeal.

To listen to this in a private situation (Like the car or I pod) is probably much different then the exictement this illicits in a club/party atmosphere.
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36 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Mike Newmark on September 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
To understand what makes Kala succeed so brilliantly is to realize why so many anti-war albums fail. Exhorting a message is easy. Getting people to sit up and pay attention is a much more formidable task, one that's proven too tall an order for the likes of the Flaming Lips, Nine Inch Nails, Godspeed You! Black Emperor, From Monument to Masses, and dozens of others. Kala sets itself apart by pulling off the neat hat trick of sounding both urgent and joyous--something that the Sri Lankan M.I.A. (née Maya Arulpragasam) managed to do with 2005's Arular, but which gets presented here to an incredible new extent. Perhaps Arulpragasam became a musician to push a point, but Kala is better poised for a club than for brow-furrowing headphone listening or a street protest; it is music first, a message second.

Surely, Kala is some of the most exciting world-electronica fusion the United States has heard since, well, Arular. The production on "Bird Flu" is so chillingly perfect that you might forget that the song has no melody to speak of. Here and elsewhere, M.I.A. exploits the universal and pleasurable properties of percussion to draw us into Kala's world; unless you actually live there, your knowledge of Sri Lankan music is probably nil, and M.I.A. is the most accessible guide one could hope for. Tribal drumming and modern-day electro exist alongside each other as naturally as oil and vinegar, while M.I.A. plays to and uproots our expectations by taking world music clichés and turning them on their heads, whether it's the hilarious pygmy-like shouts in the war-paint-covered "Bird Flu" or the ersatz strings in the 1982 Bollywood cover, "Jimmy". If anything, Kala hammers home Sri Lanka's status as a hotbed of multiculturalism.
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I wanna sleep with M.I.A.
This isn't a porn site. Please leave.
Feb 3, 2009 by S. Payne |  See all 7 posts
This album will be great!
I just saw her in Brooklyn and she performed several new tracks. This album will more than live up to her last one.
Jul 27, 2007 by Haydia Haniff |  See all 5 posts
Seems a bit strange
Craziness. I think alot of people do not understand where M.I.A's coming from and don't hear her message. Check out the pitchfork interview she did, it only made me love her more.
Aug 22, 2007 by M. Jackson |  See all 9 posts
Maybe someone can tell me why.......
OH it's all based on individual taste I'm sure. For example, I bought Tommy Dorsey's Golden Era because I enjoy a wide range of music. So they recommended from other customers purchases, Jay Z's American Gangster. In case you are not familiar, Tommy Dorsey was a Big Band Leader from 1940s. ... Read More
Sep 25, 2008 by J. Bethany |  See all 4 posts
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