Review: M.I.A.'s Maya is a bold and adventurous album
M.I.A., the British rapper and singer known for her eclectic and political music, released her third studio album Maya in 2010. The album was named after her birth name, Mathangi \"Maya\" Arulpragasam, and featured a stylised spelling of ÎÎ Î Y Î on the cover. The album was produced by M.I.A. herself, along with collaborators such as Blaqstarr, Rusko, Diplo and Switch. The album explored themes of information politics, digital culture, identity and war, and incorporated elements of industrial, avant-pop and baile funk music.
The album received mixed reviews from critics, who praised M.I.A.'s daring and inventive style, but also criticised her lyrics and vocals. Some of the songs on the album generated controversy, such as \"Born Free\", which was accompanied by a violent and graphic music video that depicted a genocide of red-haired people. The song \"XXXO\" was the lead single from the album, and was a catchy and pop-oriented track that contrasted with the rest of the album's abrasive and experimental sound. Other singles from the album included \"It Takes a Muscle\", \"Teqkilla\" and \"Internet Connection\".
Maya debuted at number nine on the US Billboard 200 chart, becoming M.I.A.'s highest-charting album in the US. It also reached the top 10 in several other countries, such as Canada, Finland, Greece and Norway. The album sold over 500,000 copies worldwide and was nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album. Maya is considered to be one of M.I.A.'s most challenging and adventurous albums, and showcases her unique and influential voice in the music industry.The album also featured some more accessible and pop-oriented songs, such as \"XXXO\", which was co-produced by Rusko and Blaqstarr. The song was a commentary on the pressures of fame and social media, and featured M.I.A. singing in a sweet and melodic tone over a synth-pop beat. The song received positive reviews from critics, who praised its catchy chorus and danceable groove. The song also became M.I.A.'s highest-charting single in the UK, peaking at number 26.
Another highlight of the album was \"Tell Me Why\", which was produced by Diplo and sampled a gospel song by The Alabama Sacred Harp Singers. The song was a soulful and uplifting track that contrasted with the darker and more aggressive songs on the album. M.I.A. sang about her personal struggles and her quest for truth, while also referencing her Sri Lankan heritage and political activism. The song was praised by critics for its emotional depth and musical diversity.
Maya received mixed reviews from critics, who were divided over its musical style and lyrical content. Some critics praised M.I.A.'s daring and inventive approach, and called the album a bold and adventurous statement. Others criticised M.I.A.'s lyrics and vocals, and found the album to be noisy, chaotic and self-indulgent. The album received an average score of 69 out of 100 on Metacritic, based on 37 reviews.  The album was also nominated for a Grammy Award for Best Dance/Electronic Album, but lost to La Roux 's self-titled debut album. aa16f39245