MAYA

  • Record Label: XL
  • Release Date: Jul 13, 2010
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
Buy On
  1. There are moments during MAYA when it seems like M.I.A.'s next move might involve walking into a laundromat, filling the dryers with bricks and silverware, pulling the fire alarm, blaring a drop-forge beat from a tinny boombox, and recording the result.
  2. On the handful of songs on MAYA that find her exploring new musical territory, Maya doesn't fare much better. It often feels like she's casting about, trying to figure out where she fits into the pop landscape.
  3. The record is a shambling mess, devoid of the bangers that characterized Arular and Kala, two of the stronger pop albums of the past decade.
  4. Uncut
    40
    Where MIA escapes the club and returns to the wider world, there's an overwhelming sense of diminishing returns. [Aug 2010, p.89]
  5. Q Magazine
    60
    While Maya certainly shows no diminution of sheer sonic ingenuity, it suffers from a shrinking of the spirit. [Aug 2010, p.112]
  6. The problem with Maya is that the clamour around what she says seems to have begun influencing some of the music that she chooses to make.
  7. The dizzy dynamism of her earlier work - a global stew of bhangra, baile funk, and hip-hop, politicized and hitched to block-party beats - is largely reduced to inert feedback and industrial noise.
  8. The new industrial influences and heavily distorted textures work amazingly well at times, but after a few songs you find yourself longing for something resembling a melody.
  9. MAYA's many false starts and dead ends also place M.I.A. on shaky ground aesthetically, and with no coherent message to fall back on, the album feels alienated and disconnected, perhaps ironic for an album attempting to evoke the hyper-connectedness and sensory overload of culture in the wake of iPhone and Google.
  10. It may be an above-average album, but its aesthetic matches her persona only at its shallowest levels, in the thinness of its ideas and the often-forceful ugliness of its message.
  11. She's certainly eyeing global pop domination. Therein lies Maya's conflict.
  12. The Wire
    60
    It all slides down very easily--but there's isn't much of an aftertaste. [Aug 2010, p.66]
  13. 50
    M.I.A.'s schizophrenic style does not please this time around. The industrial and mechanical soundscape lacks both genuine protest songs or club jams.
  14. Mostly, though, the album is noisy jumble of competing sounds and ideas, none of which ever develops fully enough to make MAYA into as cohesive a statement as her first two albums.
User Score
8.4

Universal acclaim- based on 93 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Aug 17, 2010
    10
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Every time M.I.A returns, we all get excited about the new album. This time we can cry of joy because she brought us the best of alternative Hip-Hop and Electro music, and also the best of her. After almost a year of production, the result is very clear: all of us can see that this is the best Electro record of the year, if not the decadeâ Full Review »
  2. Nov 24, 2010
    9
    Top five album of the year. I really love this album. The songs are really great. M.i.a is an amazing artist I think more people should listenTop five album of the year. I really love this album. The songs are really great. M.i.a is an amazing artist I think more people should listen to her. A great Alt/dance alt/hip hop album. A Must buy album 10/10 Full Review »
  3. Mar 22, 2015
    10
    Great album! It might not be her best but it still is a great album and does deserve a 10 because of the originality, creativity and obviousGreat album! It might not be her best but it still is a great album and does deserve a 10 because of the originality, creativity and obvious hard work that went into it. Full Review »