Thursday, August 02, 2007


Song: Jimmy
Artist: M.I.A.
Album: Kala

I’ve been eagerly awaiting M.I.A.’s sophomore album for some time and it is finally arriving on August 21st here in the states. Songs from “Kala” have been coming in spurts on M.I.A.’s MySpace page as leaked here and there. Officially, the first single is “Boyz” an upbeat jam that can be currently purchased on iTunes. This surprises me as “Bird Flu” has been on her MySpace page along with the video for some time and seemed like it was first single material. (While I like “Boyz” “Bird Flu” is much more immediate.) More curious still is the announcement that “Jimmy” will be the second single and again not “Bird Flu.”

“Jimmy” is a great track though, and unlike anything M.I.A. has done before. It is a cover of sorts of the song "Jimmy Jimmy Aja" from the 1982 Bollywood film “Disco Dancer.” You can hear the Indian influence but it also has some serious vintage disco strings and the now predictably unpredictable M.I.A. insane vocal flourishes. It’s an odd song, but I immediately loved it, though as a single I’m not so sure. We’ll see.

My opinion on the rest of “Kala,” based on a few listens, is pretty positive. There are songs that sound like good tracks that she didn’t put on debut “Arular” (“XR2”) as well as exciting new terrain like “20 Dollar,” an atmospheric freak-out that nabs the chorus from the Pixies “Where is My Mind?” She worked with a slew of producers for the record, most notably Timbaland who contributes only the so-so “Come Around” that ends the album and which was previously released on the U.K. version of his “Shock Value” (though not on the U.S. version.)

M.I.A. may be an acquired taste but it must be said, with an onslaught of cookie-cutter pop, hip-hop, and rock out there she is a true original and when first hearing these songs I immediately thought they were just very “M.I.A.-ish.” And that to me is a true artist.


I must admit that I have not seen one Bollywood film though I know of the sub-genre and its popularity. Given this, the below clip of the aforementioned “Jimmy Jimmy Aja” from “Disco Dancer” is the hands down craziest thing I’ve seen today and will put money down on the fact that it will be to you as well. Whoa nelly, what is happening in this scene? She seems to be completely bewitching this dude (and her audience.) And look at his piercing stare… crazy! I am also not sure why she gets so angry with him.

Jimmy, Jimmy, Jimmy, Aja, Aja, Aja!

No comments: