Tuesday, November 10, 2009

7. M.I.A. "Boyz" (2008)

“Paper Planes” may be M.I.A.’s biggest hit, but “Boyz” is her best song. It's all sound and fury: the clanking, pounding tribal beats; the repetitive, almost nonsensical lyric; and an excellent horn sample, which somehow manages to one-up “Crazy in Love.” Oh, and it's also incredibly fun.

By deftly fusing non-western elements with rock, hip hop, and dance, M.I.A. has established her music as a genre unto itself. Yet for as high-minded and politically motivated much of her music is, I think M.I.A. really succeeds at being excellent good-time party music. She writes songs for the dance floor, and there is no shame in that.

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