I don't know what to say about this one - I've been a casual M.I.A. fan since 2005's Arular and really got on board, like most other people, when Kala dropped. I never knew what she was though - not so much a rapper, or a pop singer, more a shout out girl that skewed, well, whatever she thought of that moment. Since Kala, it's abundantly clear that M.I.A. is running out of ideas. Whatever cross-over momentum she gained from her single ‘Paper Planes' has diminished, the disappointing follow up Maya didn't fly, and as far as I'm concerned, Matangi is in the same vein of ‘meh'.
Of course, M.I.A. was never about materialism, success or censorship, so referencing ‘Planes' is irrelevant. But throughout her short career, her political and spiritual agenda has been confusing - the political sometimes on point, but other times overtly garish and unnecessarily provocative, whilst the spiritual just dragged the music down. This preachy devotional spew is all over Matangi, obviously from the name (referencing a Hindu goddess - OK, we get it), onwards. The album cover also hurts my retinas.
Universal cleverly chose the right/wrong single to represent Matangi via ‘Bad Girls'. The best song here, in the context of the album it's exceptional. Outside of M.I.A. world and among the general populous, it's a bit of wallpaper that's been rolled over repeatedly. The track's been out since 2012 and way past its use by date.
As for recent single ‘Come Walk with Me' - I want to like it, I'm listening to it over and over again, but the hook sounds like rewinding a cassette tape spool, or a school bully going "nya nya nya". In short, it's bloody annoying. ‘Exodus/Sexodus', the latter which was written for Madonna and rejected for good reason, was built from the titular pun upwards; in fact, it sounds like ‘Karmageddon' and ‘Y.A.L.A.' were too. There's no substance, there's a smattering of irony somewhere, Maya's raps aren't seductive or appealing. ‘Bring the Noize' uses a fucking creaky chair leg as percussion and quickly crashes into parody.
OK, so ‘Lights' is only acceptable for her lyric "I'm running youth centres", and ‘Know It Ain't Right' is good but Ms-annoying-voice seeps through in the chorus yet again. I'm starting to question why I ever enjoyed her music. Maybe I've changed since 2007. Yeah, I have.
For all of Matangi's failures, it does bear sonic similarities to a triumphant 2013 record, Yeezus. I say this as both are unrelenting assaults on the ear, and both artists are unrelenting assholes. The difference is, Kanye comes off like an ass but backed his Kardashian shit up with good songs. M.I.A. pulls the fingers at the Superbowl and rolls with Julian Assange, pulls the bad bitch card. But as Yeezus succeeded in its brazenness, most of Matangi's songs are the equivalent of stuffing your wang in a garlic crusher. It doesn't fit, it shouldn't be happening - so how the hell did we get here?
This album is a case of walk: yes. Talk: yeah, nah. M.I.A. has not backed up her bravado - she should pray to whatever god is available. Yeezus is most likely busy.
The Soundsplash Festival is returning to Raglan in January 2018. Local reggae favourites Katchafire are returning to feature on the bill. We sent a few questions over to lead vocalist Logan Bell ahead of the festival.
Following 2015’s Kitty, Daisy & Lewis'The Third', the sibling trio are back stronger than ever, harnessing their ability to create pop-infused soul, blues, rock n roll and a large mix of genres to perfection, in the shape of their fourth studio album, Superscope.
Kylie Price has just released her new album Bones. Last week she appeared on theNZ Entertainment Podcast, where she sang a new song I Dont Want To Go off the album while talking shop about her dream gig to play with Ed Sheeran and her Philipino roots.
Last week I caught up withPeter Hook ahead of returning down under for Australasian leg of the Joy Division and New Order Substance tour. We had a great chat about the spirit of punk, what it takes to write a book and why shows like the X-factor are so unhealthy…
Long established as one of New Zealand’s finest acts, South Pacific reggae-soul legends, The Black Seeds are set to tour the country in September, following the release of their long awaited 6th studio album Fabric, (out today - Friday September 8th).
Jacqueline Nalpant is a Booking Agent for the Paradigm Talent Agency, and is heading to New Zealand early next month where she'll be one of the speakers for the Going Global Music Summit (Friday 1st & Saturday 2nd September at Roundhead Studios, Auckland).
Since making her musical debut with her song Drift early last year, fast attracting a solid fan base and over 1 million plays across Spotify and Soundcloud in just a few months, Madeline North, better known by her musical moniker So Below, has once again blessed us with a moodier, masterful electro-pop banger, titled Ruin.
Since forming in 1998, the Antwerp, Belgium based trio Triggerfinger have long become a mainstay on the rock scene, building a solid reputation across Europe, the US, Canada and beyond, as one of the hardest-driving and sharpest dressing bands around.
Popular metalcore group Northlane are on their way to New Zealand. The Sydney band are touring North America taking in countries like Chile and Mexico as they head our way down-under next month to play Wellington’s San Fran then Auckland at the iconic Kings Arms.
Returning to New Zealand for the first time in three years, Australian metalcore band In Hearts Wake are on their way to our shores next month for a quick run of shows supporting their label cohorts Northlane.
Courtney Marie Andrews has landed in New Zealand, and set to play two concerts this week with Joe Pug - tonight at San Fran in Wellington (Wed July 19) and tomorrow night at The Tuning Fork in Auckland (Thu July 20).
Auckland two-piece Skinny Hobos, Alex Elvis and Texas Holdom, are heading on a 5 date New Zealand tour with headliners Decades, Bakers Eddy and Dead Favours. Kicking off tonight in Hamilton (July 14), the tour will also take them to Auckland, Wellington, Christchurch and finishes up in Dunedin.
Have you ever considered sharing your most personal experiences with the entire world? Well come this Friday 14th July, that’s what Emma Cameron, the rocking front-woman of kiwi band Decades is about to do, when they release their long-awaited full length debut album, The Truth And Other People, so we sat down with the cheerful front woman to discover just what truth this album reveals..
Whilst Sonny Landreth is a well known slide-guitar master, zydeco enthusiast and phenomenal blues legend, what you may not know about him, is that he is one of the nicest gentlemen in the entire universe.
He was always the boy next door type energy, that type of person you just always wanted to be around. From day one, Shay Taylor has always been one to break the mold and live life in such a vibrant and contagious manner, that no matter who he spoke to, they walked away feeling great!
One month on from the release of their third album [Wade Waist Deep], American rock band Thomas Wynn & The Believers are back on the road, breaking beyond the southern rock scene with complex, pulsing rhythms and breathtaking harmonies.
After their 2012 Mercury Prize-nominated debut and 2015’s Top 20 follow-up Born Under Saturn, musical adventurers Django Django are back for 2017, exploring new sounds with their brand new album Marble Skies
After stunning, sold-out concerts across the US, legendary Led Zep drummer Bonzo's greatest legacy - his son Jason - brings his critically acclaimed concert, Jason Bonham's Led Zeppelin Experience, to New Zealand for just two performances.
Playing their breakthrough debut self-titled album in its entirety, pop rock sensations We The Kings will return to New Zealand and Australia to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of their breakthrough self-titled debut album.
Instrumentals, imagined soundtracks and cut and paste experimentation sets a bracing, perception-shattering course for Who Built The Moon? - the keenly anticipated, WORLD TOUR-triggering third album from Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds.