Leah Greenblatt
August 20, 2007 AT 04:00 AM EDT

Kala

type
Music
Current Status
In Season
performer
M.I.A.
genre
Experimental

We gave it a B

Back in 2005, the British-born Sri Lankan Mathangi ”Maya” Arulpragasam burst onto the indie scene like a neon-stemmed bird of paradise, dropping Arular, a cultishly revered album of dirty beats and politically charged baile funk. A clutch of lackluster tracks aside (including first single ”Boyz”), Kala is propelled by genuinely stellar moments: the manic thrall of ”Jimmy,” the ferocious gunshot-chorused ”Paper Planes.” Others may imitate her dense dancehall style (paging Lily Allen!), but even when M.I.A. fails, few manage to innovate quite so bravely. B
DOWNLOAD THIS: Hear ”Paper Planes” on YouTube

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