M.I.A., “Bring The Noize”

Maya makes noise out of annoyance. Listening to the bouncing marble drum loop here reminded me of “Steppin’ Up,” the first real song on her last label-released album. It opens with power tool whines and returns to various bit-sized drills every chorus. “Teqkilla,” one of the other tracks, includes the sharp strikes of a metal bolt shaken in an Erlenmeyer flask (as best I can identify it). I refuse to stop mentioning that “Meds and Feds” samples my fave assaulters, Sleigh Bells.

And her willingness to recycle the annoying, overwhelming sounds into an eclectic version of pop (the most straightforward genre there is) is inspiring for a guy who hopes to learn the rules of art and then (only then!) play with them from within. Forget her politics or her politeness— her music plows ahead, unabashed, and the dust floating in the aftermath is kicked away by a crowd of converts.

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