With schizophrenic aplomb M.I.A. has unleashed her most adventurous and uncompromising album so far. It’s the sound of war, warped data, heavy machinery, politics and oppression all rolled into one coherent transmission and spat out with raps and rhymes as strong as we’d expect.
Audacious productions such as Rusko’s ‘Story To Be Told’ are an example of next level club bangers sheathed in the terror of the sounds of sophisticated sonic warfare, whilst ‘Muscle’ is the funkiest slice of sunlight to come from beneath Diplo’s studio door for some time. There’s thrash guitars rubbing up against dancehall, distorted soundscapes leading us to spaced out pop, whilst huge tracts are delightfully indescribable. Lead single ‘XXXO’ is a filthy R‘n’B Trojan Horse that thrusts two fingers up at America’s plastic pop machine and its suited executives before riding to snappy glory on her own firm terms.
Maya’s trajectory and output is now utterly unique. ‘// / Y /’ thrills with its statements and brutal treatment of sonics that will have iTunes in classification prolapse. She’s always operated on the outside of pop, yet she’s become a deft burglar of the establishment before retreating to isolation and concocting her next move. M.I.A. stands alone in her own world of pop firing out her mercurial messages, which are as complex as they are captivating. ‘// / Y /’ is a towering work that makes a mockery of rivals and genres.