I guess I didn't think M.I.A. was influential enough to be on here more than once.
Arular is the debut studio album by British recording artist M.I.A. It was released on 22 March 2005 in the United States, and one month later in the United Kingdom, with a slightly different track listing. In 2004, the album's release was preceded by two singles and a mixtape. M.I.A. wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album, while collaborators included Justine Frischmann, Switch, Diplo, Richard X, Ant Whiting and Greg "Wizard" Fleming. The album's title is the political code name used by her father, Arul Pragasam, during his involvement with Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, and themes of conflict and revolution feature heavily in the lyrics and artwork. Musically, the album incorporates styles that range from hip hop and electroclash to dancehall, baile funk, and punk. M.I.A. created the basic backing tracks using a Roland MC-505 sequencer/drum machine given to her by long-time friend Frischmann. Arular was lauded by critics for its blending of styles and integration of political lyrics into dance tunes. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 and was included in the 2005 edition of the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Although it only reached number 98 on the UK Albums Chart and number 190 on the US Billboard 200, several publications named it as one of the best albums of the year. By mid-2007, the album had sold 129,000 copies in the US, Arular spawned the singles "Sunshowers", "Bucky Done Gun" and "Galang", which was released twice.
I guess I didn't think M.I.A. was influential enough to be on here more than once.
An album where every song is a seizure.
Great debut album.
A true fusion album; I can't classify it as one specific genre. It is cool to see explicit political messaging outside of its usual mediums like rap and punk. A few of the songs are really catchy, and I like the overall 2000s liminal vibes.
stop sayin crazy shit bout vaccines, lady
Ok, so I rolled my eyes when I saw her come up on this list again but I had a lot of fun with this one.
I loved this. Fired me up. I've enjoyed every song I've ever heard by MIA, so I'm kicking myself for not checking out this banger before.
This is bad-ass. I know I missed half of what was going on here, and if I were to dig in to better understand this album, I'm sure I'd get a more profound appreciation for it. But as it is, just listening and grooving to the songs, the production, the style, the vibe, and M.I.A.'s brand of rap, this was pretty amazing. I'm out on a limb here with a 5, but I'm not sure what could have made this better.
I thought this was fantastic and Marxist. 5 stars.
J'ai trouvé ca trop nice. M.I.A a un style vraimenta elle pour ces années. En plus c'est son premier album. vraiment nice. C'est pas pour toutes les occasions mais, comme on dit, ''it grows on you'' et quand tu arrives a la derniere chanson tu es hook. 5
Enjoyed it quiet a lot. Very interesting snappy beats on this one. There wasn't really any song that I didn't enjoy. Maybe the skit/intermissions could've been left out. Thankfully there are just 3 of them and they're not that annoying to pull me out of the experience.
Truly one of the pioneers of the experimental crossover sounds that exist in today's music. A very fun listen, with interludes that flow as well.
9/10 godDAMN I love M.I.A.! she’s got such an interesting, one-of-a-kind style that deserves to be commended
M.I.A. is a trailblazing female rapper
M.I.A. is just so fucking cool she makes me want to be a criminal
M.I.A. swaggers in. Boombox booming in one hand, the other hand texts acronyms to friends flung far away. It's hard to pin her down, with her Caribbean lilts, her Bristolian beats, her Arabic patois, her Mr. Oizo synths, her Acton shout-outs. Arular's fantastic. Music from the most bombastic sources distilled through a cocky self-assured artist with a real knack for hooks. It's quite the cocktail.
Late review: Christian asked to put on an album over breakfast, he wanted to know what I thought of it. I immediately begin grooving to the beats... niceeee He said that I should look at what Sam and Caitlin thought of it... "Why? Did Caitlin say she wants to vomit?" --- M.I.A. , I'm sorry I haven't checked out more of your stuff, other than those classic paper planes... I'll fly away with you on any type of plane, rootless to any land together, and we can listen to this album on the way. I like the hooks, the beat, the sass, the delivery, the grit, the strength, the venture, the lack of boundaries... the rhythms, rhythms, rhythms. I'm confused, thrilled, and I like it.
Weird and wonderful, with a head-spinning array of genres and styles. Very english, very sri Lankan and Indian too. Feels like walking through London or one of the other great cultural melting pots of our time. I loved it
I love this album. More than Kala. I don't know why but it just bumps so hard from start to finish. Sunshowers, Bucky Done Gun, Galang... all classics.
In your face, a difficult and wonderfully fun listen.
M.I.A.'s debut Arular is much stronger than her more popular follow-up. Arular features all of the forward-thinking hip hop production and memorable international influence without any of the low points. While I don't care for the skits, they're short enough that you don't have to worry about them ruining the experience. M.I.A. is a good rapper who brings excellent energy to match the production on each of the tracks. Some songs are better demonstrations of her MCing than others, but the album is still an outstanding look at the kinds of new directions that hip hop was exploring in the early 2000's.
What a wild ride! This is a unique sound that everyone deserves to hear before they die. Hate it or love it, it’s worth hearing. I for one, am struck. The somewhat-industrial, electronic music is captivating. I find the artist’s story to be part of the appeal. A visual artist that happened to play around with a 505 drum machine. She tried to find others to supply the vocals with no luck so she did it herself. Inspiring stuff. And a sonically stimulating experience.
I don't know much about Sri Lanka except for its location and the fact they had a civil war that lasted 25 years. AND I learned these two facts because when I first heard M.I.A. she was singing 9 months pregnant (on her due date no less!) at the Grammys. She performed Paper Planes. That swagger alone made me fall in love and want to learn more about this dynamite artist. I was not familiar with this one but really enjoyed the album. The mix of genres combined with her own cultural mix just delights me and makes me realize this world is so damn big and it's immigrants like M.I.A. who shine a lens back on our own culture so we can learn more. (Fun fact: two of the Beastie Boys are in her Paper Planes video at the very end)
I wish Paper Planes was on this album. It’s my favourite M.I.A. song. Notwithstanding that, this had me bouncing in my seat and I love her global, kleptomaniac approach to mixing styles with a political stance to boot. I haven’t felt so physically inclined to dance along for a while - so - bonus!! Going to listen to Bad Girls now. This has actually made me happy.
Number two from MIA, with no hits in sight. Still, another testament to how talented and creative she is (was?) as an artist. Such pronounced style, it's obvious why this list-maker would include multiple from MIA - she makes music that white people have never heard before. Jokes aside (am I joking?), I really dug this one. Not as captivating or consistent as Mala, but still a strong project. Prior to doing this project, I think I had only heard a couple of her newer albums, which are nowhere near as interesting as these early ones. Not sure what she's been up to. Favorite tracks: Banana, Pull Up the People, Sunshowers, Fire Fire, Hombre, 10 Dollar. Album art: Another banger. Better than Mala to me, this one is really cool. A great collage of colorful elements and styles, perfectly reflective of the kind of music she's putting out there. Plus you get a picture of her in the center, which is a nice bonus. 4/5
Awesome album to end the week on! I didn't think we would be getting another MIA album, let alone her debut. I can see now how she has evolved over the years, this was the only album of hers I don't think I've listened to. Very cool that she created most of this music and wrote it. I saved Sunshowers, Fire, Fire, and Hombre.
I enjoyed her second album Kala a bit more, but this debut was already pretty good. The songs are maybe a bit weaker, but the tasty beats make up for it.
This was a decent album. M.I.A. does a great job of distilling a wide range of influences. She expertly weaves various strains of British electronic music with hip hop and music from Sri Lanka. Her lyrics are obviously political and have caused quite a lot of controversy. I don’t this this album is as strong as Kala, but I still enjoyed it.
I'm not sure what I expected but I sure didn't expect to end up totally digging this album. It's weird, wild, compelling, and completely different from anything else I've heard. I don't know, it's just really great. Gonna need to give this one several more listens.
Very very interesting and eclectic blend of styles, and it's rare to find something that is so mixed up like this to be so BOPPIN. This would be a 5 if the vocals didn't get a bit grating at times.
I enjoyed Kala when it was recommended and I equally enjoyed this. Great fun, good beats, innovative noises. Quite different to conventional hip hop.
I didn't like this as much as the other one, but I'm still watching her career with great interest. Best track: Sunshowers
How did she sample the candy that pops in your mouth on "Banana - Skit". I thought my headphones were breaking. This is awesome. I'm going to steal the top negative review, because I agree with it, but not in the intended way: An album where every song is a seizure. Hell yeah it is, and it SLAPS. I want my brain to be turned into mush with experimentation and crazy sounds.
Arular is the second album recommended to me from M.I.IA. on this list. The first album I did not like, but I found Arular much more engaging. I know that I did not listen to all of the lyrics while listening to this album, and I missed much of the content. The lyrics were a big downfall of the previous album. The rhythms and energy of this album kept me in the flow of this album. Arular sounded like it would be fun to hear performed live. If I can skip "Freedom Skit" and "Banana Skit" I'd listen to this album again. (I'm generously rounding to 4 stars.)
Awesome. Great, inventive sonics, and not really a weak point in any aspect of M.I.A's producer-rapper-singer-songwriter job. Only thing is i think it was totally upstaged by her second album.
Its been a while since I've listened to this one. Jeremy introduced me to it and Diolo around the same time. It's better than the sum of its tracks. Drums and lyrics and highlights throughout
Huh. Didn't see that coming. I liked this a lot. It was multidimensional, something I often find lacking in post 90s rap. Also, significantly more melodic.
MIA is great, fun
I really like the production on this album, I don’t really know most of what was said but the beats were great. Definitely doesn’t overstay the welcome.
Great groovy electronic album! Pulsing and alive with MIA’s staccato vocals. Also a great primer for creating electronica.
Very surprising album, I liked this one! Similar feel to Skindred without so much punk and more electronic beats.
Another M.I.A. album that's energetic, eclectic, fun and has depth. It grabs you instantly and doesn't let go. Perhaps not quite as accomplished as Kala, but as a debut album this is quite a statement. Unique and pioneering art. Rating: 4/5 Playlist track: Pull Up the People Date listened: 27/10/23
Det här är ju definitivt inte min musiksmak men hon är jävligt frän och det är ett bra album.
I'm always taken by surprise by M.I.A. She works in a genre that I don't have a lot of time for and yet, she has the talent and interest to create something that stands out from just about anything else like this.
Yes. So good, also so fun to read about how the album was made on an archaic beat pad and sampled things like toys from India. Very creative, love all the percussion. Lot of fun
Did not like the other M.I.A. album on here, but this was OK, especially when it was contrasted with the mid-00s bland indie that was playing in the cafe. I mean, there is something going on here that's a bit more interesting and edgy; Neneh Cherry-ish, and it doesn't outstay its welcome.
This album is definitely a fun jam.
Not all of it grabs me but some of it was catchy as hell. “Hombre” will be stuck in my head for a few days
Ik mag dit wel.
Voor de verandering best aardig.
This is a shame, I could really like this album if M.I.A. wasn't so fake and plastic. Vibes count for a lot. She just doesn't exude the confidence that I need in my music. She seems like she's struggling with self identity wavering between cutesy pop artist and hard, confident artist pushing the boundaries of music. Musically, this is really wonderful. The quirky combinations of early 80's rap, electronica with repetitive flat bass using improvised instruments infused with some Jamaican spices makes this something to appreciate. But I just can't get beyond M.I.A. the singer. She reminds me of a more spastic immature version of Santigold lacking focus and self-awareness.
mia is so cool
It's got that edm/club vibe that I typically can't do. But something in the rhythms kept me in for the full play. Can't say I'll run down to the vinyl store and add it to my collection but, who knows, as it doesn't suck entirely.
This was released when Black Eyed Peas were over the top popular. I can see how M.I.A. would have fit in back then. This has a sound made for dance floors and has style due to the fusing of Eastern influences although their next album does that a kittle better.
La seva estrena discogràfica la va situar entre els noms a tenir més en compte a mitjans dels 00's. Original, provocativa, diferent, temes com 'Pull Up the People', 'Bucky Done Gun' o 'Sunshowers' et deixaven bocabadat per la seva eclosió de ritmes i propostes sonores. Malauradament, Maya mai ha estat capaç, ni en aquest treball ni en els posteriors (fins 2023 com a mínim), d'assolir un nivell semblant al llarg del minutatge, barrejant temes excel.lents amb material per omplir no gaire interessant
She’s always fun to listen to. I think she’s pretty political, but I didn’t listen very closely to the lyrics, so I’m sure I am missing some deeper meanings. And that’s OK with me. I love the ‘Sanford and Son’ samples in URAQT. M.I.A. and Dizee Rascal remind me of one another.
Entertaining though rather busy album.
Melodisesti tässä on sitä jotain, jolla 2010-luvun räppärit hankkivat myöhemmin menestyksensä. Soundillisesti puoleensa vetävää, hieman epätasaista, paikoin tylsääkin, potentiaalisesti koukuttavaa.
Täynnä nuoruuden iloa ja taitoa, mutta jää yllättävän vaisuksi. Olisi saanut räjäyttää vielä enemmän. Mutta on virkee ja kiva. Viimeistelty vaikutelma.
enjoyed more than I thought I would
Rap, dancehall. Curioso. Gritona.
Pop dance. Ni fu ni fa.
Not my usual style. Not a hip hop fan. This one had enough going on to make it interesting.
First 3/4 was super enjoyable. Got a bit samey in the back end though.
The artist is familiar to me but I don't think I've heard this album or any of the music from it before. It's engaging and interesting -- her style really pulls me in. Such a cool blend and layering of styles here. It's somehow edgy and smooth, catchy and off-kilter if that makes sense. I really like it. Intriguing stuff.
The twist of the skit form is more obvious, but hip-hop's propulsion is plucked as cleanly for ends here. The train doesn't hit the general public, but the tracks are aimed just where the artist wants 'em. Still as weird and frictional as anything else by M.I.A.
Un bon album, mais ça paraît que c'est son premier album car clairement elle cherche son son encore. Mais généralement c'était un bon album de hip-hop. 7/10
I really wish critics could get out of the mindset of "This mixes two different genres so it's good!". I liked this less than the other MIA album we had previously, I think her vocal delivery just annoyed me more here. 5/10
Wow, not one but two albums on this list? Thought this was better than the other one she had on here but that isn't exactly saying much. I guess she's experimental but I feel like I could've gone to my death without having listened to this one, outside of just confirming my biases after that first album. 5/10.
crazy i kind of like it 3 stars
More hip hoppy than her last album.
plus hip hop que je connaissais. pas mauvais. 7/10
Album #1049 First Listen. Standouts: Galang, Sunshowers, Others: Pull Up the People, Bucky Done Gun, Fire Fire, Amazon, M.I.A. 3/5
It's different, a but refreshing. But at the same time it's not that good, I can see how people may not like this. I guess I would say this album is more fun than good. Overall not bad though.
2005 is such a strange year for music. There's no overall consensus on the best allbums of that year, really. My personal favorites are records by Broadcast, Mars Volta, Sufjan Stevens, Bloc Party, Why?, Kanye West, LCD Soundsystem and Sigur Rós... Yet as much as I love those albums, I can readily understand why they would not be considered "essential" by a lot of other people--even if I *do* consider them essential. Apart from that small list of personal favourites, you had some cool stuff by acts such as Animal Collective or Bright Eyes in 2005. But is that stuff "essential" in the long run? The jury's still out on this one. And then you have overrated borefests by Gorillaz, The National or Coldplay (a few interesting tracks here and there, but as whole albums, they're clearly hit-or-miss affairs, in spite of the somewhat delirious "critical reception" of those particular records). So yeah, it feels that the mid-naughts were a transitional period, as if music itself didn't know where to go next, mulling over its options: go back to the past, just like that recent roots-rock revival? Embrace technology? Reject technology? Slumber your way through that endless string of "landfill indie" acts (most of them British)? This hesitation seemed to affect every style up there, from rap to rock to electronica... In the meantime, listeners with a knack for adventure and groundbreaking proposals had to wait for something truly *new* to come up. This is the context in which M.I.A. released her debut, and I can understand why it was such a breath of fresh air at the time, given those many "problems" popular music had as a whole in those days. Maya Arulpragasam and her producers were pointing the way forward in a manner that could be equally relevant for hip hop, electronica or indie. A lot of tracks shine in this record--too many to mention them all. And most of those productions were already trying very hard to break the mold of past habits so as to offer something new at last. That being said, M.I.A. would only *really* up the ante with her next album *Kala*, of "Paper Planes" fame, which is probably the one essential record she ever released. Not that the rest of her discography is not good. It's just that if you take this debut, for instance, it is only a first sketch before the greater picture. Besides, a few tracks in *Arular* are clearly fillers or awkward "experimental" attempts at crafting off-kilter bangers. Horrid "U.R.A.Q.T." comes to mind here, for example. It's those sorts of missteps she avoided for her next release, and the bangers in the latter were even catchier and more memorable than the ones in this debut. So, well... Don't get me wrong, I still like or even love most tracks in *Arular*. But I'm gonna save some room for more "essential" albums in my own list. There's only eight 5-star reviews about M.I.A.'s debut on this app after all. Sure, there are not many reviews written about it yet, so maybe the album's global score can go higher than this meagre 2.88/5 overall rating. Yet as much as I wish that global score to go up, I'm not gonna change my own rule of thumb: albums rejected from my own list can't have more than a 3/5 grade. It's a cruel world. I'll boost *Kala* to a perfect 5-star grade instead when it appears on this app (I know it's also in that 1001 albums book). Even though there's not so much that separates the two records, to be honest, apart from a clear upgrade in overall quality... 3/5 for the purposes of this list, translating to a 8/10 grade for more general purposes (5+3). Number of albums left to review: 428 Number of albums from the list I find relevant enough to be mandatory listens: 264 Albums from the list might* include in mine later on: 139 Albums from the list I won't include in mine (many others are more essential to me): 173 (including this one)
Eén keer M.I.A. in deze lijst is al ruimdenkend, maar 2 albums in deze lijst is waanzin. Zo te zien is deze vrij recent toegevoegd aan de lijst. Het zat de maker blijkbaar niet lekker dat haar 2e album er wel op stond maar het debuutalbum niet. Maargoed. De kaarten liggen nu eenmaal zo op tafel en we zullen het er mee moeten doen. Bijzondere muziek. Onrustig, trippy, tribal. Een soort voorloper van Die Antwoord. Het is zo bijzonder dat ik het voor 1x wel leuk vind om te luisteren, maar ik kan me niet voorstellen dat je deze regelmatig aanzet. Lekkere productie voor zover ik dat kan beoordelen. Wel bijzonder, niet geweldig.
Just like the other album on here....average
Fun album with different musical influences all over the place. 3 for now and will re-listen at a later date.
bättre än förväntat
I became aware of M.I.A. when Paper Planes blew up, purchased the album I think through eMusic (does that still exist?) back when it was in its indie-only, monthly use them or lose them points model. Super catchy but ultimately wears a little thin for me. I enjoyed this maybe a little more than that previous album, it had a rougher, rawer edge that served it well.
It's an energetic album. I could listen to it again.
An interesting album overall. It has its high points, such as "Bucky Done Gun" and "Hombre", but it's not a slam dunk throughout.
I like the Sanford and Son sample. It wasn't too bad but not anything really special to me. I really thought Paper Planes would be on this album. A 3 I guess. Feels like everything is a 2 or 3 right now.
oh man, I remember when this came out and KEXP's Kevin Cole could NOT stop gushing about MIA. I was into her then. At this point, maybe I've just heard this so much it feels a little tired or dated. It's ok but a full album of this style is too much.
Supuso una corriente de aire fresco para el pop de aquellos años.
Good, but not for me
This was a fun listen. It’s not banger after banger but it is hella creative. And when it hits, it hits. You can really get a feel for where MIA is going. For a debut album, it’s good but didn’t blow me away.
I like the fusion of genres 3.5
Given how much I hate Paper Planes, I was surprised at how kinda good this was
A lot of interesting sounds/instruments in this one.
This album was on the border of being too experimental but it wasn’t. She uses her voice in an interesting way where it’s almost too valley girl, but she uses the sounds of words in a cool way. Could definitely hear the creative guidance of a beat machine in how she uses different beats and rhythms on songs. Very diverse throughout the whole album. Thought bingo was cool in how it’s not singing or rapping. Also heard a lot of the 2000s beats in a more primitive way. I wonder if it was alluding to that, or if this served as inspiration for artists such as Beyoncé, Rihanna, Timbaland, etc.
Hard beats! 3.5
Canciones con ritmo. Un tanto electrónicas. Cierto desorden en el ritmo. Escuchable, sin más.
90s nostalgia, album was not bad, just different.