Album: M.I.A., Maya (XL)

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The Independent Culture

With Maya, M.I.A. brings to her music the same provocative facility she demonstrated recently with the "truffle kerfuffle" dispute with New York Times's Lynn Hirschberg, and the YouTube-banned video for "Born Free", featuring graphic ethnic cleansing of gingers.

Though some tracks, such as "XXXO", feature electroclash routine enough to be on a Lady Gaga album, elsewhere there's a shift to the antagonistic – the twitchy, enticing "Steppin Up" sounds like a workshop of whirring power tools, while the galloping electro-boogie bassline sampled from Suicide's "Ghost Rider" that drives "Born Free" accurately references the era and genre whose confrontational music and info-tech concerns she echoes with her "didgital ruckus". Maya sounds like a party for Cabaret Voltaire's stroppy teen daughter.

DOWNLOAD THIS Steppin Up; Born Free; Teqkilla; It Iz What It Iz

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