M.I.A. - Arular - Albums - Reviews - Soundblab

M.I.A. - Arular

by Rich Morris Rating: Release Date:

Arular is the sort of record that gets people talking. The debut full-length by Maya Arulpragasam, a refugee of Sri Lankan heritage who settled in London, attended Saint Martin's art school, and designed sleeves for Elastica, it's already set a few dancefloors on fire and stirred up no small amount of controversy in the process. In brief summary: its name is a reference to her father, an active member of the Sri Lankan guerrilla movement Tamil Tigers, a militancy which extends to the album within: "I got the bombs to make you blow", she sings on "Pull Out The People". Still, whatever you make of the ideology, there's no doubting the excellent tunes: self-penned on a basic groovebox and fleshed out with help from producers like Pulp's Steve Mackay and Richard X, the likes of "Bucky Done Gun" and "Galang" dice together all manner of global styles – hip-hop, Bhangra, Jamaican dancehall – and top it off with unmistakable, multi-cultural London sass. Best of all is "Hombre", a come-hither number that should get the boys trembling at the knees: "Excuse me little hombre/ Take my number, call me/ I can get squeaky so/ You can come and oil me" --Louis Pattison

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