So let’s discuss M.I.A.’s new album, Matangi, for a moment. I know M.I.A. raises strong opinions in people. Regardless of whether you love her or hate her, you should first read her latest NPR interview before you form an opinion on her new album. I realize I may be in the minority of Americans, but I like so much of what she has to say. I get where she was coming from on the whole Kony 2012 nonsense; I understand her point about the Superbowl halftime show; and I really like what she has to say about people being squares, triangles or circles. It makes a little bit of sense to me. I try every day to be a circle, but when I am driving in a car or stuck at the airport I am totally a triangle. I don’t know what it is, but transportation makes me a triangle.
I also love M.I.A. because I think she really does care about refugees, victims of war and oppression, and I believe she wants to give voice to the voiceless. I don’t think she is putting on an act when she talks about issues, and that makes her different from almost every other celebrity. I think I like her because she is incredibly well-informed about world issues, cares a lot about people, but is still tough as anything. I definitely do not agree with everything that she says, but I like that she has contradictory parts, because that makes her a real, interesting person. I like that she is a woman that inspires strong opinions in people, not a shrug of the shoulders.
So how do I feel about her new album? Well, it is all I have listened to yesterday and today. Sure, it has Bad Girls on it, but there is so much more to like. I love the titular song, MATANGI with its rhyming country names. I love the concept behind aTENTion (even if I don’t love Julian Assange so much as M.I.A. does). Bring the Noize makes me want to dance all day. So yes, I think it is pretty good. Not great. Not the best M.I.A. ever, but I like it.