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Product Description

M.I.A.'s debut record is both intensely urban and aggressively modern. The group's sole member, Maya Arul, infuses her blend of hip-hop and chunky electro with raw, tribal overtones and a healthy dose of sex appeal. There are elements of world music here, in Arul's multilingual vocal as well as the tonal shifts and instrumentation (like the drone that opens up "Hombre"). Her delivery uses a variety of yelps and tics full of street-wise confidence and bratty energy. But there's also an appealing melodic sense, like early Neneh Cherry or Miss Kitten when she's not in diva mode. M.I.A. doesn't really sound like anybody; the music is just experimental enough to wiggle out of easy comparisons. The IDM-style bleeps and beeps of "Galang," for example, give an already catchy song extra punch. The only problem with the record, a common flaw for debuts, is a sameness from track to track which robs it of the ability to surprise. Still, Arul is hugely talented and her abundant originality packs a wallop. --Matthew Cooke

Customer Reviews:

  • Loved it.
    I was not disappointed with this album. I find if very impressive that she does all of the artwork and writes all of her own music.. Something which not many "music artists" still do these days. I love all of the tracks, and find myself singing the lyrics to myself quite often. There's no real label to put on her music, but if you like electronica and reggae, you'd probably dig M.I.A....more info
  • M.I.A's First and Awesome Music!
    After getting her second CD, Kala, I decided to get her first CD. I am actually impressed how good her first CD is next to her second one. I really don't understand how she didn't get popular from this CD. I recommend this CD if you love Kala. Its worth it!...more info
  • Excellant
    I love Kala as well, because it sounds cleaner and more developed. However this album was an excellant break out in her career. fire, fire is one of my favorites. Mix with marijuana....more info
  • M.I.A. "Arular"
    Upon coming across this album like a gold mine, I was in the process of re-defying myself by the music I listen to. This album represents problems that are happening all over the world and addresses them with a catchy, rhythmic tune. It basically talks about a serious concept in life and makes it sound like nothing at all. This aspect is indulged with M.I.A.'s amazing perspective at song writing. By stepping into the music industry and singing about something that nobody has even tried tried to attempt, M.I.A. made her mark on the industry forever. This album instills music in it's audiences mind with clean, popping beats, catchy lines that just make you want to dance, and her wonderful done home British accent. If this album isn't worth anyone's time, then I don't know what is. ...more info
  • Worth it
    Lively beats and thought-provoking (though nonsensical) lyrics. Good for lifting the mood without invoking false optimism....more info
  • She'll kill you like Uma...
    This is a well produced album with 2 really outstanding songs: 10 Dollar and Bucky Done Gun. Those 2 songs show an exceptional feel for creating great dance hall songs and I'm looking forward to her next album.

    Album of the Year? No, but critics like M.I.A.'s story probably more than her music. She's a minority in Britain who drops a line here and there about politics and her father was a "Tamil revolutionary"..something I read some where. In other words she makes above average music with a cool story to go with it.

    Other than the 2 songs mentioned above, the album sounds like a horny little girl playing with a keyboard. Her voice really starts to irritate you and she has an annoying tendency to over-use the word "Hey" or "heyyyyyyy". She's not as original as people say. Her lyrics are pretty original, but her sound is basically a Missy Elliott rip off. Also, she cannot figure out if she's British, Sri Lankan, Jamaican, or American. She's a poseur using ghetto terms and words she learned from watching movies or listening to hip hop. She's like a female Ali G.
    Hopefully she can gain some confidence and self respect before she makes more music because she's pretty amazing....more info
  • terrible... absolutely terrible
    This is quite possibly the absolute worst thing I've ever heard in my entire life. If you're considering buying this CD ,I suggest you go outside, find a construction site, walk up to the guy with the jackhammer, and press your ear to the side of it. If you like how that sounds, then go buy the CD. If not, well.... "Galang," the reggaeton hit, isn't even something to wave a steamy pile of you-know-what at... and the music just goes downhill from there. "bucky done gun" (which doesn't even make any sense as a title) is good for use as a humorous conversation starter, but that just about exhausts its usefulness or likeability... much the same as the rest of the CD....more info
  • M.I.A. rocks the house.
    This album is highly ranked in the metacritics for a very good reason. It's great! If you want to hear fresh and new ways to mix hiphop lyrics and dance sounds you'll love it. Don't listen to anyone who rates this album poorly, it's a top ten of 2005 for sure....more info
  • Milli Vanilli redux
    With the exception of lip-synching, this is an exact replay of Milli Vanilli. Remember that moment? Watching the Milli Vanilli video and saying, "Huh, cool hair, uh, sorta interesting street, this music is really bad." That's MIA: long on concept, trend, style and buzzwords; short on music. Does the world really need another dressed-up exotic with no discernable musical talent who can mouth a few political half-phrases? You be the judge. Vote with your wallet.

    p.s. anybody wanna buy a used copy? If not I'm using it for a coaster. ...more info
  • Few do get it
    The first time I heard a song off of this album I sat in complete horror praying for it to end after the first 30 seconds. This has to be one of the worst albums I've ever heard, and I listen to a lot of electronic music. Most of the vocals are just spoken which is a good thing since when she attempts to sing it's this completely annoying nasal whailing sound that makes you want to cover your ears.

    The only thing that saves her attempt at self-expression(I'm not even giving it the benefit of being called music)is the melodies and beats. However, both are so repetitive that I can't even listen to them, and I listen to EDM more than anything else so I'm more than used to putting up with songs like this. The problem is I can handle a song or two. I can't handle a whole album worth.

    The few people that do get this are either tone deaf, or so disillusioned about music and talent that they've been sucked in with the few that believe something this horid is a praise worthy attempt at expression. To say that the, "few don't get it," is laughable. Few do get this. It's not just because it's different either. Standing out and being different is one thing this album is neither. It's just noise. If she weren't attractive I doubt half the people that like this would even listen to it. The rest are probably of the same lot that get on American Idol and clearly can't sing, but claim they're talented and aruge with people that know talent.

    The only person I know that claims to enjoy this album argued with me about this for a while. She finally admitted that she only likes two songs because they sound good with the speaker setup in her car. Just to get this clear, she doesn't like it because it's different or interesting or even good. She likes it because Maya, along with some help, was able to make two beat structures that sound good in her car. That's it. ...more info
  • M.I.A.
    This sounds like karaoke. I wish it didn't - but it does. I'm a white man married to an Indian girl - I love Indian music, Chutney is cool, reggae, etc. - and the lead singer is attractive - but it really, really sounds like karaoke....I can't escape that fact. is very repetitive, mundane, same sounding music throughout the whole CD. But, it doesn't matter because todays ear for music is pretty much on the deaf side. Simple and repetitive is the cornerstone of todays musical taste. Oh well - I'll watch the video though - she's cute. But, it is still a talentless serving up of supposed 'world music'. What a bunch of crap that is! Listen to 'The Mysterious Voices of Bulgaria' or 'Kuch Kuch Hota Hai' if you want REAL world music. What? It's boring? Then you don't really like 'World Music' - lol....more info
  • only a FEW "just don't get it"
    Seems people are writin' reviews every few days. I bought this album the FIRST day it was released. I was very pleased with my purchase; I knew what I was buying. I've listened to a lot of electronic music, but when I got tired of tech step sounds in 2000, I put away all that dark drum 'n' bass and discovered 2step UK Garage. I had always made fun of house, but 2step was RnB tinged, and had an infectious beat. Also, much of it was upbeat and happy grooves. But one needs variety, so I got switched on to Danchall Reggae that summerr of 2000. Some 2step had talented vocals, much of what I liked was the reggae vocals. I began tto appreciate MCs in a new way, worked back into DnB cds with MC Navigator. Meanwhile.. the MC 2step thing blew up. It wasn't just So Solid Crew, but other crews also. Heartless Crew's Crisp Biscuit CD was my favorite disc for two years and its still on my iPod (2 disc set, one MC-heavy set over 2step, one MC-heavy set over jungle...AWESOME!!) Nasty Crew, Roll Deep, and then BANG... DIZZEE RASCAL.

    Even people in the U.S. were buying the Dizzee Rascal album (note, I am in the U.S. also). People were amazed, and impressed--but also frustrated, confused, and just plain hating it. This "grime" sound (or what Wiley called his "eski" sound), was weird to lots of people. To many folks it came straight outta leftfield. Other folks had already heard the fast paced MC thing, and saw the sound perfected, tweeked up, and rescued from the "dance" music image. "Grime" beats were the natural extension of some other UK Garage sounds that were once labeled "sublow" (BIGUPs to the Black Ops and Jon E Cash, wikkid sounds from as early as 2001?/2002). So, how did people appreciate the new direction of Dizzee Rascal? Some confused, but entertained and even amazed. Some simply nodded their heads because it all was the way things go--> FORWARD.

    Now there seems to be another new blockbuster of an album, this Maya girl. Well, folks, its from London...what did you expect?! Somemore boring "electronica"?? No, this is fresh and fun. Punky and electronic. And multi-cultural just like London. Its produced by several folks who know their electronics and know beats. Infectious?--YES. Noisy? Funny? Repetative?!?! (as one reviewer wrote alongside his/her ONE star rating)--This is dance music!!! This ain't repetative techno, but, HELLO???wake up to the world around you... how can one call this repetative when you are buying a "dance" album? Dance music is repetative beats. 4/4 even if its not 4 on the floor... all dance is based on repetitious patterns. This stuff is toe tappin' and alive. And tahnk gawd for that!

    I babbled on about my musical tastes above because its sometimes helpful to know where a reviewer is coming from. Also, its important that you know WHEN and WHERE this music is coming from. Its a multi cultural MC in London, England after 2step was big in 2000, after grime became a style, after the whole big "ELECTRO CLASH" hype in NYC (and the rest of the world to some extent) which was in 2002? Well, the world's been movin and now I hear WAY TOO MUCH reggaeton on the radio. The beats here on M.I.A. debut are not funny, and not noisy at all. They're simply informed by glitchy electro sounds of grime, the bleeps that electroclash brought back to life from the 1980s, the toe tappin rhythms from Reggae, Soca, and Brazilian street music, and the MC chanting that has rippened from Reggae and given birth to female talents like Ms Dynamite, Stush, and Shystie. And to many many many Americans who haven't listened to ANY of the music I've rambled on about, it seems to not matter--they're lovin' it anyways.

    This CD is getting lots of people moving and smiling. Whether you see all of this as a progression of sounds, or if you are pleasantly confused, and entertained by these new solid grooves and fresh licks, this CD does do one very important thing:
    It does (like Mike Skinner sang?/rapped? in his psuedo souf London accent) "PUSH THINGS FORWARD"....more info
  • best new female vocalist
    I wish reviewers wouldn't focus on M.I.A.'s looks or suggest she change her style "to please more people." M.I.A.'s music and lyrics are bold and exciting. Her lyrical/vocal styles are different from any other artist I've ever heard. She sings problematically (politicised) that you might not notice with songs titled "Pull Up The People" & "Bucky Gone Gun" for example. And, yes, you can most definitely shake it to M.I.A.'s music. I would recommend this album in a heartbeat. It's one of the best albums that came out in 2005...more info
  • what can i get for 10 dollar?!
    M.I.A.!! ... Ok, so maybe not exactly 10 dollars for the CD, but you get what I mean. M.I.A. exploded onto the music scene (mostly underground dance-halls) throughout 2005, and as an MC in England in earlier years. A refugee from Sri Lanka from a civil war, she grew up with her family in England, and recieved a college degree in art at a presigous art school in London. And, yes, M.I.A. does put herself to work!

    Arular made practically every major music magazines' list for Best Albums of 2005 (is was #1 in Blender magazine and the New York Post named it Album of the Year). The CD is ecelectic, wild, and amazing fun...and suprisingly smart. Yes, each and every song is a dance-hall hit, and M.I.A.'s rolling rhymes and booming beats are infectious. Yet, if you listen to the lyrics, they are infused with emotion, hate, spite, rage, love. His young girl does a WONDERFUL job of making this album like a book of emotions...and emotions that don't scream at you. Many artists have tried this tequnice to boost sales (i.e. Lindsay Lohan's latest, alleged "music"), but M.I.A. uses subtley to enrapture the listener. She speaks about the poor and destiture, warfare in Sri Lanka, rasicm (especially towards Musilms) and her anger at politics and government figueheads.

    I would like to give a heads up though; this music is NOT for everyone. M.I.A.'s (amazing) accent enraged my friend, as he shouted, "I can't understand what she's saying!" Yet, this is well worth your buy...but i would definatley download a track from iTunes, Napster, whatever before buying the full CD.

    The best tracks?!
    **"Galang" - M.I.A.'s infectious single about gang warfare is beautifully hypnotic and wonderfully bouncy...will get stuck in your head for DAYS. While listening, it may sound familiar; it was used in a recent Honda Civic ad
    **"Sunshowers" - the simplicity of this soung is what makes it so good, and with soaring vocals during the chorus. The first verse is the BEST verse on the whole album...
    **"Bucky Done Gun" - on the soundtrack of the new NBA Live 2006 video game, this song is hot! Amazing horn samples, and shoutouts to cities that give M.I.A. her musical diversity
    **"10 Dollar" - about a young Sri Lankan woman who becomes a mail-order bride in order to make it to the USA and get her visa. its A LOT of fun (the electronic beat starts off as if you're playin a video game!) and the lyrics, though they come off as light and bubbly, and real and weighty.

    THE BOTTOM LINE: An infections, dance-electronic-rap-grime album that mixes many, many musical genres and is, by far, one of the most inventive, colorful things to come out of a rather bland music year....more info
  • fine if you support terrorism
    I find the terrorist links in her songs offensive.

    Taken from Fire Fire-
    "Growin up, Brewin Up
    Guerilla gettin trained up
    look out look out
    From over the Rooftop" [reffering to LTTE snipers]

    "Competition coming up now
    Load up,
    Fire Fire,

    She has a lot of LTTE propaganda in her music website, and even promotes this terrorist organisation in her music. She needs to get a grip, and the people buying her music need to get a grip and actually look at what they're buying here....more info
  • Excellent break from typical Top 40
    Good variety between songs...a little commonality, but the beat is so catchy I don't care. Every song is worth a listen!...more info
  • fantastic
    I found out about M.I.A. long before she was released in the states from an obsure magazine I found in my campus's bookstore. I was very intreguied by her story of plight and just her story in general. I scoured Amazon only to discover I could only buy it from the UK version of Amazon. I couldn't figure out what the conversion from pounds to dollars were so I bought Galang and Sunshowers from iTunes.

    It was fantastic. The songs were so addicting with their musical stylings. I was in awe that it was all synthesized. She incorporated unique influences that amazed me. Everyone I made listen to it hated it. But it's so catchy and upbeat! It is great designing music for me. I love the album art too. It's awesome how, being an artist, her work gets on the cd art and that's very representitive of her and who she is....more info
  • Bucky done GOOD!
    This album is so good. Its something people that love dance and rock can love. The mix of jamiaican street beats with great lyrics and the unexpectedness of this album makes it that much better. This is must-have. ...more info
  • Great album, but one thing...
    I first heard M.I.A. in a recreation hall on my University's campus on a mixer with a great sound system (filled the entire downstairs and upstairs with sweet vibes). I agree with most of the points on other positive reviews: this has great beats, lyrics, vocals, and the likes.

    There is one thing you should keep in mind before buying or judging this album: it almost REQUIRES a good sound system because the music feeds off the bass. Like many "dance" genres, bass is a heavy component in making the tracks work, and this is no exception. The vocal are great, but have difficulty standing alone without heavy bass. Thus, if you're like me with two simple speakers and a default sound card, you might want to reconsider buying the album or risk slight disappointment.

    For me, it was a very upsetting difference, because I know what the songs COULD be. I would recommend high quality speakers/sound card and a woofer, or else you're missing out--big time....more info
  • A Question
    Can someone please tell me how she managed to be signed by A!!!!
    record label, let alone one capable of putting her music (if that's what you call it) into the airwaves as much as it is....more info
    cool beats and blips. inventive vocal stylings. sometimes catchy, sometimes weird, but it could be weirder. it sounded very foreign to me at first listen, but not so much now. still, i always like hearing fresh new sounds that make you wonder: am i supposed to be listening to this? I haven't thought like that since i heard The Streets' "A Grand Don't Come For Free". Pleasantly surprised here. Also a good party record. Very danceable for girlz and guyz. Look forward to more M.I.A....more info
  • Too good for Sepos
    This album is innovative and fun, blending various styles to create one slick and catchy sound. It is a refreshing change to bland Strokes-wannabies and the same old homogenised Fiddy/G-Unit output and what a surprise you Yanks don't seem to understand or appreciate it! I've even read reviews on here criticising her accent - SHE'S FOREIGN WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?!? I've read other reviews attacking her political agenda - WHAT DO FIDDY AND HIS GOONS RAP ABOUT??? Guns, Beatches and Drugs that's what!!!! At least MIA has something intelligent to say. Isn't freedom of speech a constitutional right for you guys anyway??? Open your ears and your wallet and buy a copy now!!!...more info
  • What??????
    This CD doesn't even dserve a star. How can you call this music? Sucks....more info
  • MIA is tha isht
    This CD is very much worth the money. MIA got mad skills and crazy beats - and you won't find this kind of album or artist anywhere else. Must-have for your collection....more info
  • meh.
    tacky and shallow. not in a hot Peaches way, in a lame Gwen Stefani way. ...more info
  • Novelty Item, Nothing More.
    This record is nothing more than the musical equivalent of a Von Dutch hat. Trendy for a couple months and then quickly tossed aside, as the bastardized dancehall routine inevitably becomes boring. I give her another album - Kala has already proved to be a disappointment - after which she'll have little left to do but don a suicide belt, perhaps?

    What is a bit different with this "pioneering artist" is that, to sell records, she is prostituting her repugnant association with a terrorist outfit who, among other things, (1) invented the suicide bombing belt, (2) pioneered the used of women in suicide attacks, and (3) has been the only terrorist organization to assasinate two world leaders. The LTTE have been banned in more than 20 countries around the world, with the FBI this past January calling them an outfit that "inspired" the Al Qaeda ( Killing innocent people, smuggling drugs and using suicide bombers aren't the tools of "freedomfighters".

    After buddying up with Gwen Stefani, its quite clear that she's trying to be yet another tuffgrrl and that this "freedomfighter" angle is a reprehensible record-selling gimmick and nothing more. Take away the backstory and the anti-establishment packaging that lends it enough "street cred" for the Brooklyn iPod kids to buy her records, and these simplistic "mash-ups" fall flat on their face. I can't decide whether she's simply too dumb to understand the fire she's playing with, or unscrupulous enough not to care....more info
  • Read This!
    This is a quote from a negative comment," This is the definition of drivel".

    Please tell me what you like. To me, this is an example of a flow lyrically, and artistic beats, that combine to produce a vibe that I haven't heard in a looooong time! It's SEXY, political, and (((F@#king HUGE IN SOUND)))!!!! ...more info
  • Twisted
    "I can do the twist!" I proudly announced to my grandmother. I was 5, she 65 and it was 1965. "So you can," she proudly retorted. Maybe it was the Beatles cartoon, or, who knows, some 101 Strings K-tell "Now Sound."

    Rats, I lost my hipper-than-xxxx rock critic notes. That's ONLY because I was dancing so fiendishly, though. This gets the people up on the floor. Bonus revolutionary rhetoric, too. Samples to die for.

    "$10" and "Sunshowers" are the show stoppers. Lots of wow throughout. Anyway, enough of that. Back to me, Lexus in the driveway, snowperson on the front lawn, private kids' (including mine) school up the hill.

    Samples to die for. Better than Moody Blues "techno" 80's "comeback." Which NO one could twist to, a shame, because twisting ~ and being twisted ~ is, like, EXACTLY. My, my. Now back, over and out, to YOU....more info
  • OK
    You can tell the difference between this and the next. A couple of good songs, nothing spectacular. One song on this CD appears on the movie "War" with Jet-Li. Although I rate this with an OK, Im very tough. There's no sappy love ballads, no whiney boy songs. It's in your face, and strong....more info
  • Funk the War
    We rocked this CD at the FUNK the war protest on the 5th Anniversary.

    MIA put all the kiddies in militant mood!...more info
  • Worth the Buy
    You can't help but respect the creativity poring out of this album. This was M.I.A.'s debut & the reason why so many love her. I love this album & it hasn't left the car in weeks....more info
  • Save your money... Don't believe the hype.
    I heard a lot of chatter about this new girl M.I.A. and her album getting a lot of good reviews. I don't know if her phenomenon is a result of her label hyping her in publications or what, but after listening to her album once through, I would advise you to stay away unless ecstasy-rave music is your thing. She is nearly unintelligible on all of her vocals and is drowned out by the incessant reverb present on all most all of her tracks. This is the definition of drivel. I am happy for her and her interesting life story, but her music does not interest me. Save your $!...more info
  • "Arular" Is A Brilliant Masterpiece Of Music!!
    M.I.A.'s "Arular" is the best debut album I've heard in a long time. I first heard of M.I.A. from a free single on iTunes of her single Galang. When I heard it, I knew I had to buy an album, so I looked her up and found that she had an album. So I bought it, and was absolutely stunned by how amazing all the others tracks are.

    Each song has a wonderful beat and lyrics, and are fun and catchy and dance-like. For anyone who enjoys some of the best music you'll hear in an EXTREMELY long time, then M.I.A.'s debut album "Arular" is the right one for you....more info
  • Hyphens
    Sri Lankan-British electronica-hip hop. There are a lot of hyphenated descriptors possible for her. M.I.A. is an original, no one else sounds this way. When I first listened to this CD I thought that it would be better off interspersed with other music, but it's been growing on me. A solid block of M.I.A. to rattle the brain free.

    Post-colonial. Post-modern. A feminist-P.Funk? Sun Ra+sampler?...more info
  • You had me at hello
    I knew within the first thirty seconds of the first track of this CD that I was going to love it. It was sort of the music-listening equivalent to "you had me at hello". The energy of this CD is so fresh and so intoxicating that it made me feel like I just drank a Red Bull.

    M.I.A. is an artist who is difficult to classify, which means that she is a true original. Her music has the bravado of hip-hop, the experimental quality of electronica, the multi-cultural vibe of world music. Yet it doesn't come across as pretentious or forced at all. She's just taking what she needs to turn herself on. And the listener (me) is turned on in return. Isn't that what music is all about?...more info
  • no
    just no. not even close to being listenable. its as annoying as listening to japanese anime before its been dubbed....more info
  • Fresh & Innovative Classic
    Far from the commercial drivel hip-hop has become, M.I.A has become the saviour, "Arular" is so far removed from Top 40 hits that it grows to become somewhat of a revelation. This is by far one of the most amazing debuts in recent years. A mixture of house, electronica, hip-hop and grime "Arular" is as fresh as it is innovative.

    Littered with illicit instrumentation and mesmerising rhymes, this catapults M.I.A into the hip-hop stratosphere created by the likes of Run DMC and Public Enemy. Many of the songs are simply too unique to be radio friendly but songs like "Galang" and "Sunshowers" have a certain catchiness that is unmistakeable. "Arular" puts some colour into the bland landscape of British music. The tracks here are like soundscapes, very evocative and emotive.

    From the Ibiza rave of "Hombre", industrial sass of "Galang" to the freakishly realistic jungle imagery of "Amazon". This just has to be heard to be believed. Everything about this album defies belief.

    Never since Hole's "Live Through This" have I been so blown away by an album. Usually with an album I have some idea of how it will please me, there is a degree of certainty, however with "Arular" I was awestruck. Quite simply the best hip-hop album in history....more info
  • whole cd
    the cd only has a few selections that are good. if you really want to hear it borrow it...more info
  • Political messages a turn-off, but the beats are so amazing it's excusable.
    I'm a libertarian, which is basically about as far away politically from M.I.A's political opinions as one can get; however, I found myself thoroughly enjoying many songs on "Arular," including the socialist "Pull Up the People." I embrace most types of music, but am especially a fan of electronica, so I was quite pleased to see this masterful use of electronica in hip-hop.

    Her political lyrics sometimes become nonsensical -- not in the sense that I disagree with them (I do), but in the sense that they aren't very coherent. But that's not why I listen to "Arular." Because her lyrics aren't anything masterful and her accent covers up the mediocrity involved there, I can pay better attention to the beats and M.I.A's voice, which almost operates as an instrument.

    This album is filled with absolutely amazing electronic beats. The best songs on here are definitely "Bucky Done Gun," "Pull Up the People" and "Galang." The Amazon reviewer 'hit the nail on the head' when he noted that there was repetitiveness to this disc, though: "Fire Fire" could be easily mistaken for "Galang" at its opening!

    Must-have for electronica fans who like some hip-hop, but, as others have noted, this is *not* for people who don't enjoy eclectic, experimental music....more info
  • A Fun CD
    This CD is fun to listen to, even though the themese of the songs are not very light themselves(example: war, violence, and poverty).It has lots of energy and great beats. I didn't give it 5 stars because sometimes it got a little too weird for my tastes. I still enjoyed the CD and would recommend it to anyone looking for something fun to listen to. ...more info
  • scary, fascinating and totally pop
    We're Bucky Done Gun freaks in this househould -- two boho liberal boomers and a seven year old girl -- which goes to show universal a truly infectious pop song can be. With no background on M.I.A. I downloaded it and after then watching the video on You Tube was both freaked and fascinated by the populist power of this tune -- if "tune" is the appropriate term for a dissonant mix of hip-hop and thirld-world-ish marching music! Love those crazy horns! Great threatening lyrics (this is coming from a downtown Manhattanite who was deeply traumatized by 911) that deftly conflate sexual and third world revolutionary politics ("I'm armed and I'm equal, more fun for the people"). "We"are people too, of course -- I would be comforted to see that reality conveyed as well. But I personally find it exciting to be exposed to pop that reflects the conflicts of the times, however unsettling I personally find them. And I'd rather see political anger conveyed through music and video -- as a message -- than as literal acts of destruction. That's civilized!

    It's also interesting to see a young (British)Southeast-Asian woman with such a wild, ambiguous self-presentation. Compelling.

    I can't say I'm as crazy about the rest of the album -- worth a listen and I like Galang, but its not as exciting as B.D.G....more info
  • Sound Catchy but mix with Terrorists
    I have to agree some songs sound very catchy.

    But isn't she singing about some Terrorist Group in some Asian Island? I heard even MTV ban some of her songs because of that....more info
  • Love this CD
    I received this album from a friend, it took me a couple of months to listen to it, but now i cant take it out of my player. I LOVE this CD.....its awesome and a big change from all of the crap that artist are putting out now. On some of her songs she actually has a message...why do you thing her American Visa has been revoked..check out the hidden track and her attack on the powers that be in the US....more info
  • Spectacular Arular
    this album is great! its refreshing to discover a strong female artist who's unwilling to use her sexuality to sell records. think about it, there are really very few out there who aren't shaking their [...] to hide that they have no real talent. heck, i can drop it like its hot, it don't mean a thang. so i heard "galang" about a year ago and was blown away - awesome! i had to have the album so i scooped it up and from the first "ba-na-na" i was hooked. MIA throws down great lyrics, rapping, singing, chanting. really fun stuff, despite the content at times. i don't know that this album is appropriate for kids, but nowadays not much is. MIA's association with the Tamil Tigers (her father is/was a member) seems to be a basis for much of her writing and there is a fair amount of violence. MTV refused to play the "sunshowers" video because of her reference to the PLO. and MIA would not edit the track, except to remove an F-bomb or two. good for her!!! no compromise! so the album is full of gritty beats, danceable and interesting. Diplo mixed and if you are a fan, i recommend getting your hands on the ultra-rare "piracy funds terrorism" - (re)mixes mostly by Diplo of Arular songs and a TON of extras. "pop" and "ladykiller" are worth it alone. but back to Arular - if you're into strong ladies, socially conscious lyrics and funky beats, check it out. my fave songs include "sunshowers" "fire fire" and "amazon."...more info
  • This is the good stuff
    I first heard this at the gym and had to have it. Picked it up a few days back and I'm just loving it. There isn't a bad track on it. The few who are dissin this need to loosen up....more info
  • There isn't anything else like it...
    Hot off the heals of the "Piracy funds Terrorism" mixtape featuring bootleg mashups comes M.I.A.'searth shattering debut.

    Arular is a tasty conconction of electro, hip-hop, dancehall, reggae and Brazillian favela style music. There isn't anything else like that.

    To complement the tasty beats and production, M.I.A.'s vocals are uncomprimising and brutal - full of references to "shake your a## on the floor" as well as "calls to arm" and radical revolutions.

    Not only is the music bleedingly cutting edge, but it also has a fantastic "retro" feel (see Bucky Done Gun with the "Theme from Rocky" sample). All tracks are killers (no fillers!) and are super catchy and addictive. Favourite songs (other than Bucky Done Gun) include "Hombre", "Pull up the People" and "Galang".

    If you are a fan of dance music or hip-hop - then what are you waiting for...?
    ...more info
  • OMG
    OMG... I wanted to shot myself after listening to 30 seconds of this nonsense....more info
  • Captivated by Arular
    My 10 year old daughter and my 61 year old butt can't get enough of Arular. Masterfully edited - as tight and rich as the Beatles at their peak. The dad loves the mechanical electronic aspects. The girl has to sing along with the singsong poetry and just dance to it.

    Maya's voice is awesome. My brother's reaction was that he doesn't like foreigh sounding funny voices in his music, so this isn't for everyone. But it's not just for open minded college students. This is the real thing. This is a most favored treat in our huge and eclectic music collection.

    As with other reviewers, we, too, are put off by the violent images, but for us it has the authentic feel of a window into the revolutionary third world.

    ...more info
  • WTF kind of ish is THIS?
    I remember seeing the video for M.I.A.'s song "Bucky Done Gun" (whatever that means) on MTV Hits one day, and after it went off, I thought that maybe it was just some reggaeton that I couldn't get into. But since I try to give everything a fair chance, I still decided to check out her album. But despite all the glowing reviews for Arular, after listening to it, I personally think it is one of the worst albums in existence.

    I think M.I.A. should stand for Music Is Acquired (as in "acquired taste") because to say that the music isn't the most accessible wouldn't be telling the half of it. Everything single song has a completely different style; and to top THAT off, there is absolutely no kind of cohesion. Furthermore, Maya can neither sing nor rap (but it's really more like talking than rapping).

    The only way I could possibly recommend this album is if there is an instrumental version of it somewhere, so people could dance to it at the club. Then again, I couldn't even tell if the beats are that great after all, because everything is so badly produced. I understand that Maya wanted to fuse reggae, rap, R&B and possibly other styles, but she failed miserably. Missy Elliott tried to do a similar thing with The Cookbook and also failed, but even that is better than Arular. Leave it alone.

    Anthony Rupert...more info
  • amazing just so much you can learn from mia
    at first i thought mia was some lame wannabe then turns out she wasnt so im like this is this stuff right here and all my friends love her we wish we were here at times she really opened up me to new music i do have to say my fav song is hombre and fire fire ...more info
  • Aquired taste
    I didn't like this album that much at first, but it grew on me. I got this CD as a gift, listened to it once and threw it a side. I decided to give it a second chance and it really grew on me as I listened to it more and more. The singing at times gets on my nerves, but I like a lot of the songs. The lyrics are the best part of this album. "Fire Fire" and "Amazon" are my to favorite songs. Some of the electronica is interesting, and she does not sound like anyone. ...more info
  • i feel like i've been waiting for this album
    Although this album chock full of politics (which I typically feel ruins alot of mainstream music, because it is often juvenile instead of clever), maya's lyrics are so honest and smart that it's hard to find that a problem...If you can understand through her colorful slang, you'll find that her political messages strengthen the music because they are observant rather than preachy. This album is incredibly unique and most (not all) of the tunes are very catchy. However, I gave it 5 stars because it is so inspired that it really needs to be heard- it is unlike anything I've ever heard beforem probably because I am not usually a fan of dancehall and electronica. However, this is so fun to listen to and I think it's because she incorporates so many different influences.

    All I can say is, if you are thinking about buying it, listen to a couple samples to see if you can enjoy something like this. If it's not completely beyond you, definitely buy it. It's just one of those albums that moves you into a different realm. m.i.a. has a more colorful history and youth than most people and here she just does something incredible with it....more info
  • Terrible. Just terrible.
    People must really be desperate these days. Just because pretentious jerks who write bad music reviews for Rolling Stone and Pitchfork say this is good, doesnt mean it'll make you super-cool if you say you like it too. M.I.A. is HORRIBLE....more info
  • Multi-Dimensional Phenomenon!
    I'm surprised that "Arular", unquestionably one of 2005's best albums, failed to create any satisfactory performances on the Billboard Hot 200 (peaked at #190), despite rave reviews & the artistic unconventionality that drives this album into "classic" status. M.I.A. combines crazy, club-ready, catchy-as-hell beats with meaningful (if not blunt, violent & slang-infested) lyrics, multiple musical elements of Dancehall, Electronica, Pop, Rap & Hip-Hop (not to mention others), along with raw, unrestrained vocals in her rapping & singing skills, resulting in the musical masterpiece that is "Arular".

    Whether it be the confrontational, relentless assault on war & politics on songs like "Bucky Done Gun" & "Pull Up The People", the unusually interesting skits, the pure dance craze of meaningful, slang-infested club bangers like "Galang" & "10 Dollar" or anything to everything else in-between, "Arular" sends the listener through an unpredictably twisted rollercoaster of emotions & viewpoints.

    Casual listeners will have a hard time digesting something as ingeniously complex as "Arular", but anyone with an ear for truthful, unconventional music should definitely get this! Trust is well worth your money! I wish the best for M.I.A. because with some more support, she could have a very fruitful music career.
    ...more info
  • rhythmic, textured, danceable electronic music
    i love this music, but i can see how some people wouldn't. i guess reading through the reviews here says the same thing: this doesn't try to be the kind of music my mother would like (or some of my coworkers). but that must be obvious if you listen to the samples amazon provide.

    but otherwise, this is pretty sweet - it strikes a nice balance between playing with new ideas/sounds on the one hand and keeping a steady groove on the other. "commerical experimental" in a good way - and i think that's a very challenging target.

    as for the politics and trying to second guess whether this woman is "for real" - it doesn't matter unless you don't like the music. good music doesn't need to (and usually doesn't) match my politics. why on earth should it? if you don't like the music, fair enough. but to argue that you don't like music because of the attitude or the politics - what's with that? you're confusing music with something else, i think....more info
  • Nice Debut Singer
    Pretty Good,My fav track Is SUNSHOWERS,then BUCKY DONE GUN,I love the video to it...more info
  • Awesome.
    What can I say about this album that hasn't already been said? Nothing. Awesome album on every level....more info
  • finally good dance music which is not crappy black eyed peas and trl stuff
    i ussually like experimental music, and if it is hip hop it has to be experimental to. This fits in with experimental hip hop, because her beats are more fresh then kanye west, and are as good or a little bit better then MF Doom's beats. And are almost as good as DJ Shadow's. This whole album is amazing music. From the skit. Then to pull up the people, "slang tang thats the M.I.A thang, i got the bombs to make you blow i got the beats to make you bang bang bang." If you ask me that song is better then the overated "My Humps" song by the crappy blackeyedpeas. If you are sick of normal dance hiphop and want something that you can even listening to in the car or working M.I.A is for you....more info
  • Fresh!
    I love this album. The sound is fresh, it makes me want to dance and I love the mix of sounds. Well produced, good lyrics, great freshman album, can't wait to see what M.I.A. does next. ...more info
  • Promising debut - does not live up to the hype
    This CD has been mega hyped by the critics. It seems as though every year they pick one or two rap CDs and decide it's amazing, without ever really delving very deep into the genre. Perhaps just to prove that they like something besides alt-rock. (Pitchfork, I am talking to you.) M.I.A. was 2005's candidate. She definitely has cool credentials, and the Tamil Tiger connection doesn't hurt.

    Musically, this CD is not bad. Very interesting beats and she definitely has a unique rapping style. I couldn't stop thinking that she had listened to Neneh Cherry's "Raw Like Sushi" many, many times as a youngster. A lot of these tracks sound very similar. She definitely has a promising future, though.

    As you can tell from the reviews on here, people either love this or hate it, for the most part. Have you heard "Galang"? Did you like it or did you think it was garbage? That will probably tell you how you will feel about this CD in general.

    One of the best CDs of 2005? No way. An interesting listen if you like this sort of thing? Definitely.
    ...more info
  • Accessible interesting with an English accent
    I have never listened to dance music, rap, hiphop and the lot of what usually people half my age now dig. Am I opposed to the beats? Well not per se for when the ska music of the Specials, English Beat, and the like came out in the 80s I was lapping it up like a cat to a saucer of milk. I do not know my various genres of "new" music but well I do not care for the crudeness of most rap lyrics and I suppose this is what gives crediblity to that music for it is a snap shot of the world from which it springs. I suppose I just like MIA's world better and her English accent is clear as a bell. The clarity is nice and though I know not what a "geezer" is I am willing to try to figure it out with little trepidation....more info
  • Love It!
    Who is M.I.A. and what has she done to the art of music?! The London-raised Sri Lankan MC has mixed up all possible forms of music to give us something that we can't define. You can't put a label on her sound; you can only identify her inspiration. With a combination of Jamaican dance hall, hip-hop, electronica, Brazilian funk, and Asian bhangra, her style is different from anything we're used to; it's addictive and fun. Her lyrics are filled with passion about life and society. She gets political and sexual all in the same song! Who does that? Maya Arulpragasam does... just listen to Bucky Done Gun off her debut album Arular to get a feel of her artistic flair....more info
  • Disappointed Yet Again...
    I checked out this album based solely review which hailed M.I.A.'s "Arular" as wonderful, cutting-edge music. The reviewer praised her for mixing dancehall, reggae, electronica, and hip hop and a revolutionary political message. But, after picking it up and listening to it, I have to say that I wasn't all that impressed. It wasn't upbeat, danceable or even listenable for that matter. And yes, it had a political message, but I've heard it done better by other hip hop artists.

    I spun it once and put it away for a few months. I didn't like it, so I put it away. Then a few months later, a car commercial featured a small sample from "Arular." I thought, maybe I was just in a bad mood when I listened to the album, so I dusted off the record to give it one more chance. Again, I didn't like it, so I decided to give it another spin. Same feelings. It took me four times before I finally figured out that this was one album that wouldn't grow on me.

    Frankly, MIA, in my opinion isn't cutting edge. Missy Elliot was the pioneer for the sound that MIA tries (and fails) to copy. And Missy's songs are danceable and fun to listen to. I know there will be much disagreement on that point, because many people (choose) not to get hip hop or just don't listen to it (even though they'll make an exception for the Beastie Boys or Eminem.)

    And what's so cutting edge about including a political message with your beats? Hip hop and rap artists have been doing this for years. In the past, hip hop/rap has been a venue for the disenfranchised to voice political messages that the general public chooses not to hear. Of course, I can't qualify "gangsta" rap as having a political message - but I know that old school rap and some hip hop artists have. Public Enemy were among the first to use rap to convey a political message. Tupac, the Fugees, Lauryn Hill, and others have done it as well.

    If you want to hear what MIA does, (but music that's truly danceable,) then Missy Elliot's the way to go. Otherwise, I'd give this album a pass. ...more info
  • A mixed bag...
    After hearing "Bucky Done Gun" I HAD to have this album and rushed to order it right away...overall the album is unique and danceable without being simplistic or empty headed, but some of the songs are weaker than others, and the skits were pure filler, used to stretch a collection of singles to album length.
    ...more info
  • M.I.A.- No Way!
    If this CD were to be captured- it would not be an M.I.A. that you would go looking for. Save your money and buy a 99 cent toy flute at Walmart to make better music.
    ...more info