Safe to say, any positivity that was once overwhelming in the record has now been stripped, and in its place remains a gritty, hypnotic street vibe with a constant undertone of in-your-face confidence.
Track after track the record offers up repetitive rhythms in a manner that flows effortlessly from one to the next, the chanting of the artist blasting distinctively and clearly over rolling drum beats, and futuristic soundings of synths and horns finding themselves mixed in unconventional manners with morphed back beats and avant-garde techniques.
This formula is relentless in the opening sounds of the album, and it isn’t until track five, Come Walk With Me, that it twists ever so slightly to take the experimental nature down a notch and add a slightly more conservative – yet still fairly novel – sounding. What finally comes out of this is a mix of pop, drum and bass and techno methods in a strangely addictive end product.
Following effort aTENTtion furthers the peculiar nature of the album, consistently emphasising the word ‘tent’ for three and a half minutes in what is clearly some kind of political or social statement that has gone a long way over this writer’s head.
Two features included with contribution from The Weeknd, Exodus and Sexodus, stay closer to the mainstream, with big bass in the distance meeting a ruffled house rhythm with a more than catchy rhythm, but all in all the record is far from the Sunday lunch norm.
Bring The Noize seems to define the album perfectly. The stuttering and shouting of random words to start off a number with fast chat from M.I.A meeting a beat including randomly creaking door sounds and a pretty catchy melody. Odd, but endearing and with a huge backing, much like the majority of the track list.
This is one album that will certainly not make for primetime listening around the Christmas table this winter, that’s for sure, but given the right ear and mindset, one that will no doubt become a firm favourite for some. An album made of marmite from M.I.A.
As published originally at: www.brignewspaper.com