The vernacular of rootlessness, multiculturalism and politics of war in one of the greatest albums to come out in the 21st century so far
From the standpoint of this project, M.I.A. is the most perfect and exemplary artist: the way she brings together world cultures, politics and flawless beats with a lot of sass and stank, is everything I want from art. It’s been 15 years since Maya Arulpragasam’s freshman album, and it still sounds fresh and much braver than most of the music we get today. The sounds that can unite this planet will not be rich Americans singing something sappy for charity, it’s exactly this: a brown girl who blends Tamil liberation, London ghetto and favela funk. “Kala” with the “Paper planes” was a bigger hit in the long run, but “Arular” is a treasure in its own right, and it’s incredibly interesting to spot the way M.I.A. paved her ground for her latter work in this album. With bombs and savory mangoes, obviously.
Arular by M.I.A., Arular, 2005