Arular This buzzworthy debut album by Sri Lankan refugee M.I.A., a.k.a. Maya Arulpragasam, is as instantly infectious as it is hard to pin down. The music… 2005-03-22 M.I.A. Hip-Hop/Rap
Music Review

M.I.A. (2005)

Details Release Date: Mar 22, 2005; Lead Performance: M.I.A.; Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

This buzzworthy debut album by Sri Lankan refugee M.I.A., a.k.a. Maya Arulpragasam, is as instantly infectious as it is hard to pin down. The music is literally all over the map, deftly showcasing an array of beats — from Puerto Rican reggaeton and Brazilian baile funk to modern electro. And while M.I.A.'s South London slang can be indecipherable, you'll probably find yourself chanting ''wagwan'' along with her just the same. Arular has already spawned a hit — the pulsating ''Galang'' — and more are likely on the way. Whatever you might think of her revolution — spiked lyrics, it's tough to resist an artist who can boil the tension in lines like ''I got the bombs to make you blow'' into a fierce all-night party.

Originally posted Apr 11, 2005 Published in issue #815 Apr 15, 2005 Order article reprints