Kala

User Score
8.6

Universal acclaim- based on 292 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 23 out of 292

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  1. Sep 8, 2016
    10
    Meu album favorito da M.I.A. acho genial e maravilhoso . Fora o conceito que ele oferece...parece surreal, tudo nesse disco é perfeito. até as piores musicas do album se tornam agradáveis
  2. Mar 5, 2015
    10
    Kala is fantastic, wonderful, his lyrics and melodies are more than masterpieces by far XR2 is the best song on the album, if not one of the best M.I.A. has produced throughout his career.
    I really love this album.
  3. Jan 10, 2015
    5
    Some quirky dits and few off the beaten path kinda beats, but let's not get carried away here. Truth is the album is a little bit different, but let's face it, MIA ain't a rapper and would come up stumps against a lot of unsigned wannabes recording tunes out of their bedrooms.
    The album has a lot of filler and not a great deal of thriller. Some of the material sounds down right
    Some quirky dits and few off the beaten path kinda beats, but let's not get carried away here. Truth is the album is a little bit different, but let's face it, MIA ain't a rapper and would come up stumps against a lot of unsigned wannabes recording tunes out of their bedrooms.
    The album has a lot of filler and not a great deal of thriller. Some of the material sounds down right pretentious, somewhat arty-farty, and simply not good enough for commercial album release. However, the album has received somewhat critical acclaim and compares favourably to a number of releases in similar genres across the board.
    MIA does offer that mishmash of experimental sounds, world music appeal and some catchy pop numbers, but it just seems all a bit, dare I say pretend.
    At best an above average album.
    Thank you please
    Expand
  4. Dec 15, 2014
    10
    This is my favorite album is highly addictive and these songs will always stay in my memory. The songs are perfect because they have a great production. My favorite: Boyz, Paper Planes, Jimmy and Bamboo Banga.
  5. Dec 6, 2013
    8
    This is definitely not her best album, but it's still awesome and as mind-blowing as Arular. The highlights of Kala are Boyz, Bird Flu, Jimmy, Come Around and Paper Planes.

    PS: For you haters giving this album a negative score, please learn about politics before saying that her lyrics are meaningless.
  6. Sep 29, 2013
    10
    This album is freaking perfect. I can't explain how I love EVERY song of Kala. M.I.A. is a genius. Highlights:

    Bamboo Banga: 3/5
    Bird Flu: 4/5
    Boyz: 5/5
    Jimmy: 5/5
    20 Dollar: 5/5
    XR2: 3/5
    Paper Planes: 10/5
    Come Around: 5/5
  7. Aug 12, 2013
    9
    M.I.A. does it again with her second best album yet. With energetic pop beats and amazing vocals, no wonder this got so high reviews. Definitely an amazing album.
  8. May 21, 2013
    10
    This project it's amazing and shows the imagination of M.I.A the electronic and captivating sound involved us in a very different world of how listen music.
  9. May 6, 2013
    10
    I'm sure that Kala is the best M.I.A.'s album and is so much stronger than Arular. Is my favorite one of her too, and is the type of album that you can't hear just one time, and make you love who made it.
  10. Apr 26, 2013
    9
    I will say this the best album of '07 and one of the best of the 2000's decade. There's gunshots, screams, rap, and hip hop all mixed together to make a jaw dropping melting pot of an album. From "Bird Flu" to "JImmy" to "20 Dollar", M.I.A. does not disappoint. From sampling The Pixies and covering "JImmy, Jimmy Aaja Aaja", M.I.A. learned to be different than the rest of the hip hop world
  11. Aug 30, 2012
    6
    (6/10)Beats are infectious, however M.I.A relies to heavily on her beats to try to carry all of the musicality of the album. Even then, the beats only shimmer on a few of the songs as the beats start to sound repetitive as the album continues. There are a few golden spots in the album with songs like; Jimmy, 20 Dollar and obviously Paper Planes. Paper Planes helps the album to shine as it(6/10)Beats are infectious, however M.I.A relies to heavily on her beats to try to carry all of the musicality of the album. Even then, the beats only shimmer on a few of the songs as the beats start to sound repetitive as the album continues. There are a few golden spots in the album with songs like; Jimmy, 20 Dollar and obviously Paper Planes. Paper Planes helps the album to shine as it shows off what we would have liked to see from M.I.A for the entire album. Definitely a song to listen to over and over again. I have never wanted to rob a bank more in my entire life. In all the album is definitely an impressive cross into genres we didn't know existed, but I didn't necessarily need her genre in my life. Expand
  12. Jul 22, 2012
    10
    Kala is a simply fantastic album. Listening to this album makes you feel like your on a journey from Sri Lanka over India and Jamaica to Africa and back again. And the best thing is, this journey is not some kind of tourism journey, it's highly political and while listening to songs like Boyz, Hussel, Mango Pickle Down River, 20 Dollar and World Town you start thinking about the deeperKala is a simply fantastic album. Listening to this album makes you feel like your on a journey from Sri Lanka over India and Jamaica to Africa and back again. And the best thing is, this journey is not some kind of tourism journey, it's highly political and while listening to songs like Boyz, Hussel, Mango Pickle Down River, 20 Dollar and World Town you start thinking about the deeper political & social meaning of the songs and this clearly shows the genius of M.I.A. Expand
  13. May 20, 2012
    10
    M.I.A.'s world-flavoured second album, even more so than her equally diverse debut, is a rare thing: a set of twelve intricate songs that draw their influences from all areas of life and still manage to sound overall consistent, listenable, and ultimately, fun. There are definite standout moments, including the apocalyptic noise beat of "Bird Flu," the ecstatic pop overload of BollywoodM.I.A.'s world-flavoured second album, even more so than her equally diverse debut, is a rare thing: a set of twelve intricate songs that draw their influences from all areas of life and still manage to sound overall consistent, listenable, and ultimately, fun. There are definite standout moments, including the apocalyptic noise beat of "Bird Flu," the ecstatic pop overload of Bollywood cover "Jimmy," the adorable kids' rap verses on "Mango Pickle Down River" and, of course, "Paper Planes," but from swaggering opener "Bamboo Banga" to the last echoes of Timbaland's voice on "Come Around," it maintains a fantastic standard, constantly full of the sort of levels of colour and energy that only the greatest pop music can hope to reach. Expand
  14. May 6, 2012
    10
    A good use of her voice, such as in Bamboo Banga. M.I.A. is excellent at lyrics, and the production from her counterpart Diplo is fresh and different. She really has something to say.
  15. Apr 19, 2012
    10
    One of the greatest albums you will ever hear! I remember being slowly seduced ( I didn't like it at first) by paper planes, and thinking to myself, this is **** genius! This album is a shot of energy. Great african vibe. The people who hate on mia or this album are usually fat slobs who can't dance, they can't stomach maya's unique delivery. This is album is addictive! I have beenOne of the greatest albums you will ever hear! I remember being slowly seduced ( I didn't like it at first) by paper planes, and thinking to myself, this is **** genius! This album is a shot of energy. Great african vibe. The people who hate on mia or this album are usually fat slobs who can't dance, they can't stomach maya's unique delivery. This is album is addictive! I have been listening to it for four years straight!!!! MASTERPIECE!!!! Expand
  16. Jan 5, 2012
    9
    I don't care what kind of taste in music you have, if you give Kala a chance you will LOVE how epic the beats are, and how well woven they are mixed with political and social commentary only seen outside on the sidewalks where people picket with sings ans such. All M.I.A. needs is a mic and some notes and she can hammer out some politics as well as make us bump and grind with her swayI don't care what kind of taste in music you have, if you give Kala a chance you will LOVE how epic the beats are, and how well woven they are mixed with political and social commentary only seen outside on the sidewalks where people picket with sings ans such. All M.I.A. needs is a mic and some notes and she can hammer out some politics as well as make us bump and grind with her sway about her. It's rare I enjoy an entire album, but for this one, I did very much, and I'm glad it came into my life! Expand
  17. Oct 3, 2011
    8
    The second LP by Mathangi Arulpragasam, who is known in the music world as M.I.A., is crazy. Wonderfully crazy. Named after M.I.A.â
  18. Oct 2, 2011
    10
    Epical! It's just the adjective I can use to explain the mixing of references and beats that one of the most reminding singer ever done. Maya Aralprugasam a.k.a. M.I.A. returned after her acclaimed start "Arular" with more power (like she herself says in "Bamboo Banga", one the greatest songs of this album). When the urban culture got down with the African beat, it turned into a CD thatEpical! It's just the adjective I can use to explain the mixing of references and beats that one of the most reminding singer ever done. Maya Aralprugasam a.k.a. M.I.A. returned after her acclaimed start "Arular" with more power (like she herself says in "Bamboo Banga", one the greatest songs of this album). When the urban culture got down with the African beat, it turned into a CD that contains pearls like "Paper Planes", "XR2", "Jimmy" e "World Town". The great difference for the first CD is that this one bring the power of the streets, and not just the powerbeat from Africa. This mixing is the special thing, the X-Factor, that makes this, one the shinny albums ever. Expand
  19. JohnA.
    Jan 5, 2009
    7
    Gorgeous.
  20. JohnnyFlow
    Sep 7, 2008
    10
    This is a fantastic album and a true original, big upgrade over the impressive Arular. But I understand how M.I.A.'s music can divide people. It's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it sound. I will also concede that she is a weak M.C. and downright awful live performer. She is purely an album artist and an interesting person to interview. But damn, what a record... just don't This is a fantastic album and a true original, big upgrade over the impressive Arular. But I understand how M.I.A.'s music can divide people. It's definitely a love-it-or-hate-it sound. I will also concede that she is a weak M.C. and downright awful live performer. She is purely an album artist and an interesting person to interview. But damn, what a record... just don't expect to hear specific genre, expect to hear something totally different. Expand
  21. JoobyDooby
    Aug 15, 2008
    10
    Perfect album.
  22. MiloszD.
    Jul 30, 2008
    2
    I agree that this is overhyped. There *is* a big mix of styles, but that in itself doesn't really mean the album is great, even though some reviewers seem to have based it purely on this notion. It is like Vibe says unfocused, there's no poignancy and it ends up being something in between annoying and dull. 2 Points and that's even with some good will.
  23. PaulaK.
    Jul 4, 2008
    10
    Crazy.Cool.Hot.Nice..
  24. Daveh
    Jun 29, 2008
    9
    Pretty spectacular and wildly unique! amazing album! best songs- bamboo banga, birdflu, boyz, jimmy, hussel, 20 dollar, xr2, paper planes and come around are all outstanding tracks!
  25. Kumuthanx
    Jun 11, 2008
    10
    MIA is excellent! talented. a genius. her music is like abstract art. only some of you will "get it".
  26. MattC.
    Apr 15, 2008
    1
    Pure tripe.
  27. JoseH
    Apr 13, 2008
    6
    Too inconsistent to be rated more highly. Songs very from great to pretty bad - no song is as good as it might be. Original and catchy, sure, but great?
  28. SophiaF.
    Apr 9, 2008
    10
    I love this album. It's not only hip and catchy, the lyrics are very substantial. If you don't like this LP, it's probably because you just don't understand.
  29. AlfredoM
    Mar 17, 2008
    10
    Outstanding!!! Songs like Boyz and XR 2 make you wanna dance. Bird Flu is amazing. I took me a while but the almun really grew on me fast. Is just fantastic.
  30. ProjectGSX
    Feb 27, 2008
    3
    Just terrible. I tracked down this album after seeing its glowing reviews and I have no clue what the fuss is about.
  31. BethanyL.
    Feb 18, 2008
    10
    My favorite release of the past few years. M.I.A. is as talented as she is quirky, heartfelt, and likable. Meaningful, uniquely-delivered lyrics. Bouncy, interesting beats. And....a whole lot of fun. World class album. You can't help but root for this chick and all her future projects.
  32. JoeyK.
    Feb 14, 2008
    0
    The most OVER hyped, OVER rated album of the year. Combining obnoxious terribly off key vocals and contrived over thought out beats that are all painfully sporadic. The worst album of the year by far.
  33. OwenP.
    Feb 10, 2008
    9
    Originally I was quite skeptical, but this album didn't take long to grow on me. A very cool electronic/dance sound which separates itself from the mainstream with politically motivated lyrics. Can't wait for her next album.
  34. MatthewS.
    Jan 29, 2008
    10
    This is the freshest stuff out there for those into music that captivates. A lot of music requires a lot of attention, as does Kala, but this artist turns the process into pure enjoyment.
  35. NickP
    Jan 28, 2008
    10
    An amazing album, I didn't think she could surpass Arular, but this one trancends that after a few listens. Songs like Boyz and Come Around are fluff, sure - but there are a ton that have a great deal of depth and even the songs with fluff really, REALLY connect. I'm a white boy, with about as much rhythm as a rock, but every time I listen to this disc, I feel like getting up An amazing album, I didn't think she could surpass Arular, but this one trancends that after a few listens. Songs like Boyz and Come Around are fluff, sure - but there are a ton that have a great deal of depth and even the songs with fluff really, REALLY connect. I'm a white boy, with about as much rhythm as a rock, but every time I listen to this disc, I feel like getting up and dancing. I think M.I.A. has a very unique style, and as long as she puts out music, I'll buy it. And I'd marry her, too. Expand
  36. AlexP
    Jan 13, 2008
    10
    Best coolest album of 2007. No doubt in my mind.
  37. JoeM
    Jan 12, 2008
    2
    Some of the beats are decent, but her voice tends to ruin them. Her lyrics are flat-out terrible. There is nothing interesting, deep, or creative about this music.
  38. BilleyL.
    Dec 27, 2007
    10
    Such an amazing eclectic dance album that takes a couple of listens. once u do u will get hooked.
  39. SamH.
    Dec 23, 2007
    10
    There is nothing annoying about this album, people say that because the structure of the lyrics mixed with unconventional beats makes this album one of the most exciting album to come out in a long time. The production value is remarkable, as well as the militant lyrics that actually serve to say something far past what most mainstream artists ever think to expand to. This reflects a real There is nothing annoying about this album, people say that because the structure of the lyrics mixed with unconventional beats makes this album one of the most exciting album to come out in a long time. The production value is remarkable, as well as the militant lyrics that actually serve to say something far past what most mainstream artists ever think to expand to. This reflects a real artistry that is personal while speaking to every person in the world. When she atempted to enter the US after being on the homeland security watchlist, she could only get a temporary status just long enough to do a track with Timbaland, she ten used the rest of the money the record company allotted her, and traveled the world picking up different and new sounds to encorporate into a hip hop dance album. Instead of spending money on menial bullshit, she used to advance her craft, and you cant not respect something like that Expand
  40. APoli
    Dec 21, 2007
    10
    Just when you thought you heard it all before.... I love the fact that so many reviews on here are 9/10s or zeroes and ones. It's a hard record to be indifferent about and that's its charm. It's not afraid to take risks, it occasionally falls flat on its arse, but it's never less than interesting and more often than not brilliant. One of the few must-hear records of Just when you thought you heard it all before.... I love the fact that so many reviews on here are 9/10s or zeroes and ones. It's a hard record to be indifferent about and that's its charm. It's not afraid to take risks, it occasionally falls flat on its arse, but it's never less than interesting and more often than not brilliant. One of the few must-hear records of 2007. Whether you put it on constant repeat or incinerate the thing afterwards almost doesn't matter (almost, but if you don't love it you're wrong)... Expand
  41. JuliaA.
    Dec 18, 2007
    9
    I can't think any other name that would dare to put sound of guns being shot,cash register's ka-ching,didgeridoo,Indian disco music and an opening with the word 'Roadrunner' in it. Lady Mathangi did a splendid job on this record!
  42. ErikU.
    Dec 11, 2007
    10
    Best album of the year. Infectious beats, witty and meaningful lyrics. Definitely not for the weak of heart. I. Am. Fan.
  43. FernandoV.
    Dec 4, 2007
    10
    This album is dangerous to my health. My neck and shoulders are eternally sore from popping, locking, and nodding.
  44. patd
    Dec 2, 2007
    10
    Great Album
  45. JoseD.
    Nov 11, 2007
    7
    MIA has made me a fan. I first saw and heard her on LOGO's the Click List video countdown show. The tune was Boyz. I replayed on my TiVo. Way to go TiVo. Kala Pumps out awesome beats! I want MORE!
  46. JordanK
    Nov 1, 2007
    7
    I can understand why people would hate this album. I hated it during my first few listens. But, past the couple annoying tunes (to me at least), there is a lot being done here that you just can't hear anywhere else. This artist has more guts and creativity than most if not all in her style of music
  47. TimE.
    Oct 26, 2007
    10
    This album is M.I.Alicious as Fergie would put it. Sorry for even mentioning Ferigie in the same sentence as MIA as she would never stoop to that level.
  48. JakeM
    Oct 25, 2007
    9
    Amazing album! Possibly one of the best of the year. It's so good to hear something original these days. I highly recommend this album! Best songs are Paper Planes, 20 Dollar and Jimmy
  49. SimonK.
    Oct 17, 2007
    10
    Quality from start to finish! As good as Arular , which is the biggest compliment i can bestow
  50. MikeL
    Oct 6, 2007
    3
    Don't feel it. Don't like her voice, the beats annoy me. Not something I could listen to in any situation. I like Justice, Battles, !!!(chk chk chk), and this just does not work for me. I really tried to like it, but I can't.
  51. VerianT.
    Sep 26, 2007
    10
    Perfect crazy perfect.
  52. PaulC
    Sep 25, 2007
    9
    Simply put, this album is some of the best music you'll hear all year. M.I.A. is one of the only artists to give us a fresh sound in the 007.
  53. Ixata
    Sep 23, 2007
    10
    Omg, recommended: paper planes, bird flu, jimmy, come around fantastic.
  54. DanA.
    Sep 23, 2007
    9
    I had my doubts about whether or not M.I.A. could produce an album even within the same league of Arular. But I'm glad to say that it is in Arular's league, and comes close to even being better than her first album. M.I.A. brings an amazing amount of flavor with high end, unique production, eccentric delivery, and music that is fun while remaining tasteful. This is the album to I had my doubts about whether or not M.I.A. could produce an album even within the same league of Arular. But I'm glad to say that it is in Arular's league, and comes close to even being better than her first album. M.I.A. brings an amazing amount of flavor with high end, unique production, eccentric delivery, and music that is fun while remaining tasteful. This is the album to beat this year. Expand
  55. MarcG.
    Sep 23, 2007
    9
    Arular was very good,this one (in my opinion) is even better.
  56. DanB.
    Sep 16, 2007
    8
    I kind of wanted to not like this album. Too much hype + shallow pop-lefty-politics = bleh. Turns out the album's pretty good, voerall. Listened to it 5 times now and overall I like it more than Arular. Can't stand XR2, but I love Paper Planes and Jimmy (cover's better than the original too).
  57. GraemeS
    Sep 13, 2007
    2
    Really don't get the great reviews that this album's been getting. I've listened to it several times and I'm just not feeling it. I'm surprised to because I love Switch (Dave Taylor) who produced most of the album.
  58. Gman
    Sep 13, 2007
    6
    I tried, I really did. After all the rave reviews of both this and Arular, I thought M.I.A must be worth checking out. The simple fact is there really is nothing special about either the music or her (occasionally irritating) lyrics and delivery. It's certainly not bad, and it's quite bouncy and fun at times but compared to albums by geniunely innovative artists (Dizzy or I tried, I really did. After all the rave reviews of both this and Arular, I thought M.I.A must be worth checking out. The simple fact is there really is nothing special about either the music or her (occasionally irritating) lyrics and delivery. It's certainly not bad, and it's quite bouncy and fun at times but compared to albums by geniunely innovative artists (Dizzy or Cadence Weapon for example) Kala just sounds a bit silly. You can imagine 12 year olds playing this on their mobile phones on the top deck of a number 55 in order to annoy 'old people'. The problem is, it's annoying for all the wrong reasons. Not annoying in a Grime or Punk Rock way, but annoying in a Cheeky Girls or Kylie doing 'Locomotion' kind of way! I seriously wonder if all the attention she's been getting is actually down to the fact that she's a "Hot Asian Babe." One really hopes that the supposedly intelligent music press is not that shallow and sexist in 2007 but maybe that's the case because that's would undoubtedly be the last thing someone like M.I.A. would would want. Expand
  59. PhamN.
    Sep 11, 2007
    10
    Vibrant, youthfull and... baaam! I can't stop playing this album either. She has that cetain... "je ne sais qua!" The girl's just got it. So much music these days lacks life and soul. I mean listen to like the difference between something like the Clash and say... the Killers (who aren't that bad compared to most). Granted different genre and sound from MIA but it's Vibrant, youthfull and... baaam! I can't stop playing this album either. She has that cetain... "je ne sais qua!" The girl's just got it. So much music these days lacks life and soul. I mean listen to like the difference between something like the Clash and say... the Killers (who aren't that bad compared to most). Granted different genre and sound from MIA but it's still pop. MIA got soul... Seek out the video for Jimmy, it's great. Expand
  60. GinnaQ
    Sep 10, 2007
    9
    Asides from the last track, this is one of the best albums of 2007.
  61. IyotirmayaD.
    Sep 10, 2007
    9
    I can't stop playing it.
  62. davidv.
    Sep 7, 2007
    9
    I'm very satisfied.
  63. MycroftW.
    Sep 5, 2007
    8
    Great beats, wack but fun lyrics, its Arular all over again.
  64. SparkD
    Sep 4, 2007
    2
    We hate UK rappers !
  65. TalesR.
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    I really recommend this album, is an experience.
  66. MarcusW.
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    Kala is the world in your hands, amazing album.
  67. MarcyM.
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    The best album of the year!
  68. GeorgeW.
    Sep 4, 2007
    10
    Stellar!
  69. RealistJoe
    Sep 4, 2007
    8
    Good on M.I.A. for coming out with an interesting second record. Her production on this album is stellar, and given her limited resources, and aesthetic for wanting things done cheaply, it comes off great. Props to her for great diversity in her production, outlook and musical/artistic taste.
  70. MikeyD
    Sep 3, 2007
    9
    This is smoking! "World Town", "Bamboo Banga", "20 Dollar" and "Paper Planes" are all FIRE!
  71. RickW
    Sep 3, 2007
    6
    A few good tracks but tottally overated.
  72. JamesM
    Sep 1, 2007
    8
    A refreshing album. Alive with the global noise of life. I love the Aussie kids on track 6.
  73. FabioL
    Sep 1, 2007
    10
    Really great album! It dabbles in many genres. Even the songs I didn't like before, I know LOVE!!! It has a lot of danceable tracks (XR2, Bamboo Banga, Bird Flu, Boyz). But this album also has songs that make you think. In 20 Dollar she says "WAR, WAR, WAR- Who made me like this? What it me and God in co-production?" So she's not a stupid girl. I think many people who review Really great album! It dabbles in many genres. Even the songs I didn't like before, I know LOVE!!! It has a lot of danceable tracks (XR2, Bamboo Banga, Bird Flu, Boyz). But this album also has songs that make you think. In 20 Dollar she says "WAR, WAR, WAR- Who made me like this? What it me and God in co-production?" So she's not a stupid girl. I think many people who review this album in a negative light, don't really understand what she's saying in her music. When she mixes thoughtful lyrics and classic beats, such as in World Town, is when she's at her best though. So far the best album of 2007 for me. Expand
  74. danc
    Sep 1, 2007
    7
    some great tunes. some very not ones. paper planes is amazing. some tracks need better production to make it feel more full, dare i say more 'sane'?
  75. SoulSpeak
    Aug 31, 2007
    7
    Vaguely political, sometimes brilliant, overly acclaimed. I am an MIA fan but am well aware of her shortcomings as an artist. Better classified as a collage artist with a nice aesthetic but limited in message. But props to Switch for proving his diverse reach in production.
  76. ByronG.
    Aug 30, 2007
    1
    I cannot believe that people actually consider this to be music. It brought to mind the children's tale "The Emperor's New Clothes."
  77. 1fastdog
    Aug 30, 2007
    5
    The most over-rated and over-hyped record since that crappy Joanna Newsome album from last year. Sorry folks, but this is a mediocre album at best. For all the high praise given to this album's beats and sonic experimentalism, it's a strangely flat album and is sadly bereft of both energy and hooks. Bamboo Banga makes for a disappointing 1st track; it's crying out for some The most over-rated and over-hyped record since that crappy Joanna Newsome album from last year. Sorry folks, but this is a mediocre album at best. For all the high praise given to this album's beats and sonic experimentalism, it's a strangely flat album and is sadly bereft of both energy and hooks. Bamboo Banga makes for a disappointing 1st track; it's crying out for some fire, but, sadly, never gets any, relying instead on an ultra-repetitive beat that is almost dead on arrival - the lyrics match the beat: ultra-repetitive and ultimately boring. The rest of the album veers from the horrible (Hussel, Mango Pickle Down River), to the very interesting (Jimmy), to the brilliant (Paper Planes). In short, it's a scattershot listening experience in which a few really bad songs are counterbalanced by a few really good ones with everything else strongly in the "meh" category - hence the 5 rating. A good album for the hard core fans, but a Caveat emptor for everyone else... Expand
  78. BillyB
    Aug 30, 2007
    2
    Posh girl from a theatre school tries rapping, claims dad was a tamil tiger freedom fighter for a bit of respect...there is some creativity here but you're listening to a fairly posh londoner not someone particularly cool, bucky gun dun was an OK tune off the last album Arular but all in all fairly weak and not a hugely original artist imo...if she continues to sell not too many Posh girl from a theatre school tries rapping, claims dad was a tamil tiger freedom fighter for a bit of respect...there is some creativity here but you're listening to a fairly posh londoner not someone particularly cool, bucky gun dun was an OK tune off the last album Arular but all in all fairly weak and not a hugely original artist imo...if she continues to sell not too many records she'll stay cool, if she does sell records the cred will go in a second - that type of artist....anyone who releases an LP entitled piracy funds terrorism is a record company gimp...a collab with Will Smith would seem to make sense...don't download - buy the record. Expand
  79. SophieB
    Aug 29, 2007
    10
    WFT.. Vibe's review? 3/10? Is that site being serious? Fantastic album.
  80. MattD.
    Aug 28, 2007
    1
    A nearly unlistenable mix of chanting and shrill music.
  81. DolceAddict
    Aug 28, 2007
    10
    It's been said before but VIBE really need to get a grip. You should be giving 30 to TPain, Akon and the shiteous like that grace your magazine. That said, this album is as dynamic as it is mind blowing. The weakest track in my opinion is the Come Around, Paper Planes is definitely gonna be a cult classic, XR2 is a dance anthem and Jimmy is as pop-tacular as it gets. This album is It's been said before but VIBE really need to get a grip. You should be giving 30 to TPain, Akon and the shiteous like that grace your magazine. That said, this album is as dynamic as it is mind blowing. The weakest track in my opinion is the Come Around, Paper Planes is definitely gonna be a cult classic, XR2 is a dance anthem and Jimmy is as pop-tacular as it gets. This album is definitely top three of the year....I'm still putting Panda Bear's Person Pitch ahead of it though. Expand
  82. AaronD
    Aug 27, 2007
    9
    What can I say, this is grade A music. Listen to it in passing and your gonna hate it, buy into it and give it a couple long listens and you wont be able to do without it. You have to hand it to hip hop, nothing in music can create a new standard for sound like hip hop. Not even punk or prog rock can lay claim to the ability to bend what sounds at first like noise into sonic soundscapes What can I say, this is grade A music. Listen to it in passing and your gonna hate it, buy into it and give it a couple long listens and you wont be able to do without it. You have to hand it to hip hop, nothing in music can create a new standard for sound like hip hop. Not even punk or prog rock can lay claim to the ability to bend what sounds at first like noise into sonic soundscapes that stimulate new pathways in your brain. Its a learned response and it feels great. LOVE IT. Expand
  83. McLovin
    Aug 27, 2007
    2
    Quite possibly the most over-hyped crap of the decade. This isn't genius. A least a couple publications aren't scared to lose critic-street-cred by calling it what it is. What a waste of time. Sad that folks think this is meaningful stuff.
  84. DizzY.
    Aug 27, 2007
    9
    Vibe listen carefully, open your mind. MIA is great.
  85. MikeK.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    Listen to this album a couple of times--enough that it sinks in--and then go back to listen to Arular. I loved Arular, but next to this it sounds timid and tame. This is savage stuff, pretty unprecedented; what is vibe thinking? I want to buy the issue and read the review. For that matter, whats up with Metacritic putting some boring indie pop from the new pornographers as the featured CD Listen to this album a couple of times--enough that it sinks in--and then go back to listen to Arular. I loved Arular, but next to this it sounds timid and tame. This is savage stuff, pretty unprecedented; what is vibe thinking? I want to buy the issue and read the review. For that matter, whats up with Metacritic putting some boring indie pop from the new pornographers as the featured CD of this week? This is the hotness. Expand
  86. GuiV.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    Fantastic! MIA continues a wonderful work, where misc doesn't mean just a crap!
  87. DavidG.
    Aug 26, 2007
    10
    Pop/Rap brilliance encapsulated in a surprisingly, refreshingly digestible smörgåsbord of world music.
  88. Bob
    Aug 25, 2007
    10
    "Bamboo Banga" took me a few listens, but that song is epic. Mindblowing record.
  89. SashaL
    Aug 25, 2007
    10
    What was the hell was Vibe listening to? Top 5 five this year Garantee! I wish there were more of rap artist like her.
  90. michaelt
    Aug 24, 2007
    10
    Pivotal
  91. AricB
    Aug 23, 2007
    10
    At first listen I was a bit shocked because it seemed sort of dull and slow after the song Hussel. But after about 3 listens, the songs started to grow on me immensely. While not quite as cohesive as Arular, it's better in its variety and takes more risks, probably because MIA herself co produces many songs (and had the main producing credit on Bird Flu). There are songs to dance to At first listen I was a bit shocked because it seemed sort of dull and slow after the song Hussel. But after about 3 listens, the songs started to grow on me immensely. While not quite as cohesive as Arular, it's better in its variety and takes more risks, probably because MIA herself co produces many songs (and had the main producing credit on Bird Flu). There are songs to dance to (XR2, Bird Flu, Boyz, Jimmy) but what I love is there are also songs that I can just sit down and listen to (Mango Pickle, The Turn, 20$, Come Around) I think it's actually for the best that Timbaland wasn't the main producer, because while Come Around is a good song, the others are better. Expand
  92. ChrisC
    Aug 23, 2007
    9
    Easy frontrunner for best of the year. I don't care how ridiculous she looks trying to do rap poses in her press photos. Kala is better than Arular.
  93. Nick
    Aug 23, 2007
    10
    Solid, solid, solid. Vibe is way wrong on this - are they upset because it's the one release of 2007 without Timbaland on it? Boo-freaking-hoo.
  94. rayr
    Aug 23, 2007
    9
    a jolt and refreshing listen to all the indie recycled boybandish stuff out there
  95. GustavoS
    Aug 22, 2007
    9
    I believe the greatest thing about this album is that I have to listen to the songs again and again to get all the sounds together while I dance the night away. This is no sophomore slump, no disappointments, just pure funky grooves served up fresh. I am so glad to have bought this album and greatly recommend it.
  96. aL.A
    Aug 22, 2007
    9
    This album is slightly better than Arular. Almost classic
  97. AaronS.
    Aug 22, 2007
    10
    This album is bonkers. One of the best of the year.
  98. benk
    Aug 21, 2007
    10
    "Kala" is an epic album from start to finish. M.I.A.'s debut "Arular" was already good enough as it is, but the follow-up completely trumps it. There is a much bigger, fuller sound and the material is stronger.
  99. RobertP
    Aug 21, 2007
    9
    Bloody amazing - the sound of multiculturalism and globalisation. Not so much of a clash of civilisations, more a breakdance
  100. dereka
    Aug 21, 2007
    9
    Hey I am retarded. Diplo didn't do World Town. He did XR2 and Paper Planes. Anyway, turns out that the majority of the good songs were Switch, as Timbaland's and Balqstarr's were probably the album's worst.
Metascore
87

Universal acclaim - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 37
  2. Negative: 1 out of 37
  1. Although there are a couple of failed tracks--like the tediously slow 'The Turn'--most of this stuff is groundbreaking.
  2. There are the terrible lyrics and more than a few moments where her one-style-fits-all MCing grates, but there's also the politics that no one else would touch, an intelligence, colour and humour, and the added benefit of centrifugally heavy production. Skip a couple, and you're in for a treat.
  3. Q Magazine
    80
    Everything here is a fantastic hybrid, M.I.A. and her platoon of producers thieving fashionable street sounds from Baltimore hip hop to Brazil's baile funk. [Sep 2007, p.89]