August 21, 2013


M.I.A. Samples Blur, James Brown on Challenging "Unbreak My Mixtape"

M.I.A. played with sonic dissonance a great deal on her last album, which left fans who'd caught on to her via "Paper Planes" confused and disinterested. Well, this latest preview of her forthcoming beleaguered album Matangi isn't going to win back those casual fans.

Despite its funky beat (courtesy James Brown's immortal "Funky Drummer") and crowd-pleasing Blur sample (the 13 track "Tender"), "Unbreak My Mixtape" is centered around an unpleasantly high-pitched organ riff that will tax most listeners. Furthermore, her vocals are buried in the mix, which is sure to alienate some.

That's not saying it's bad—it's sonically inventive and worth repeated listens. It's just not for everyone. Listen to it above and see what you think.

P.S. The sample at the end is from cult folk singer Karen Dalton's "I Love You More Than Words Can Say."