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MIA 

Kala


MIA
Kala
(XL)
On this follow-up to her debut Arular, the young MC with Sri Lankan heritage turns the sass dial up full and strikes her own true “buffalo stance.” The first cue is the cut ’n’ paste, ’80s-inspired colour palette of the album artwork, including a cover shot of the artist with bobbed hair, shades, cloche hat and shiny lipstick. The music, especially the tough “Boyz,” offers plenty of cues to this intensification as well. While MIA employs her chanting style---her vocal trademark---throughout, she also experiments with singing, as on the Bolly-dance of “Jimmy.” And it works. MIA is like the Neneh Cherry of the ’00s. Hopefully she’ll stick around and fulfill that promise.
Sean Flinn

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Vol 25, No 25
November 16, 2017

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