Release Date: Aug 21, 2007
Record label: Interscope
Kala and Arular are similar in that they are both wildly vigorous and wholly enjoyable albums, generous with blunt-force beats, flurries of percussion, riotous vocals (with largely inconsequential lyrics), and fearless stylistic syntheses that seem to view music from half of the planet's countries as potential source material. But Kala nearly makes Arular seem tame in comparison, magnifying most of its predecessor's qualities as it remains bracingly adventurous. While it certainly sounds like a second M.I.A.
Review Summary: Lack of a Visa hardly hinders M. I. A on her sophomore release.
On the heels (or the crest?) of a hype honeymoon, expectations for M.I.A.'s Kala understandably center on how or whether she can settle into the grind of a career. Many corpses belabor the point: making a good second record is tough. Inconclusive. Kala plays as mixed media pastiche, a barely restrained amalgam of ideas that are hardly exhausted by beats or flow and double and triple as political references.