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65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 29 Critic Reviews What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 157 Ratings

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  • Summary: The fifth full-length studio release for the London artist features contributions from such artists as Blaqstarr, Diplo, and Zayn.
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Top Track

Borders
Freedom, 'I'dom, 'Me'dom Where's your 'We'dom? This world needs a brand new 'Re'dom We'dom - the key We'dom the key'dom to life! Let's be 'dem We'dom... See the rest of the song lyrics
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. 91
    So, bottom line, you’ve got a few pieces of trash, a couple of sketches whose mileage varies on how well you dig their hooks, and plenty of fantastic stuff that ranks with M.I.A.’s best work, and M.I.A.’s best work is fascinating and damned fun.
  2. Q Magazine
    Sep 2, 2016
    80
    Wildly collaborative, pan-globalistically luvvy-duvvy and heaps of fun, it just about hangs together as her best outing since 2007's Kala. [Oct 2016, p.102]
  3. Oct 10, 2016
    70
    If this is her last record then she hasn’t gone out on her finest note, but that’s certainly not to undermine the album. Maya Arulpragasam’s body of work remains an important reminder of the exciting prospects of cultural exchange and the immigrant experience. Taken in that light, AIM is a fitting addition to her oeuvre.
  4. Sep 8, 2016
    60
    Maya Arulpragasam's radical patter is sounding a bit ho-hum ("Borders: what's up with that?" she wonders on her fifth album). But M.I.A.'s skill as a buoyant beat-rider remains intact (the glassily thumping "Visa" turns border crossing into a party), and there are moments on AIM where the political and personal blur evocatively.
  5. Sep 14, 2016
    60
    Skrillex-produced banger Go Off, Blaqstarr-assisted Bird Song and Visa are solid electro-rap party jams that also reference some of her past hits, while low-key dancehall track Foreign Friend and clubby Fly Pirate are among the handful of cuts that get stuck in filler territory.
  6. Sep 12, 2016
    60
    If this is her last album (as she has intimated), a true original bows out on a more equable note.
  7. Sep 13, 2016
    40
    [The] lack of enthusiasm is all too transparent on AIM, and it renders it an absolute failure of a send-off.

See all 29 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 19
  2. Negative: 1 out of 19
  1. Sep 9, 2016
    10
    This si one of M.IA.'s best efforts, she slays as always, it's really politic and has a powerful meaning, and not only that, you can dance toThis si one of M.IA.'s best efforts, she slays as always, it's really politic and has a powerful meaning, and not only that, you can dance to it! Pretty cool. Expand
  2. Sep 12, 2016
    10
    APAGEM ESSA NOTA 65 AGORA OU VOCÊS SERÃO TODOS EXPLODIDOS PELA MIANATION, ÁLBUM DO ANO PISA NO LEMONADE QUE TEM CONCEITO INVENTADO E APROVEITOAPAGEM ESSA NOTA 65 AGORA OU VOCÊS SERÃO TODOS EXPLODIDOS PELA MIANATION, ÁLBUM DO ANO PISA NO LEMONADE QUE TEM CONCEITO INVENTADO E APROVEITO ESSA REVIEW PRA PEDIREM A VOCÊS PARÁ COMPRAREM O FROOT NO ITUNES BOM É ISSO Expand
  3. Sep 14, 2016
    10
    1. Borders 10/10
    2. Go Off 9/10
    3. Bird Song 9/10 4. Jump In 8/10 5. Freedun (ft. ZAYN) 9/10 6. Foreign Friend (ft. Dexta Daps) 8/10 7.
    1. Borders 10/10
    2. Go Off 9/10
    3. Bird Song 9/10
    4. Jump In 8/10
    5. Freedun (ft. ZAYN) 9/10
    6. Foreign Friend (ft. Dexta Daps) 8/10
    7. Finally 9/10
    8. A.M.P. (All My People) 9/10
    9. ALI R U OK? 10/10
    10. (OLA) VISA 10/10
    11. Fly Pirate 7/10
    12. Survivor 5/10
    13. Bird Song (Diplo Remix) 10/10
    14. The New International Sound Pt. 2 10/10
    15. Swords 8/10
    16. Talk 9/10
    17. Platforms 10/10
    Expand
  4. Sep 13, 2016
    9
    1. Borders 5/5
    2. Go Off 5/5
    3. Bird Song 3/5 4. Jump In 4/5 5. Freedun (ft. ZAYN) 5/5 6. Foreign Friend (ft. Dexta Daps) 3/5 7. Finally
    1. Borders 5/5
    2. Go Off 5/5
    3. Bird Song 3/5
    4. Jump In 4/5
    5. Freedun (ft. ZAYN) 5/5
    6. Foreign Friend (ft. Dexta Daps) 3/5
    7. Finally 4/5
    8. A.M.P. (All My People) 4/5
    9. ALI R U OK? 4/5
    10. (OLA) VISA 4/5
    11. Fly Pirate 3/5
    12. Survivor 4/5
    13. Bird Song (Diplo Remix) 5/5
    14. The New International Sound Pt. 2 4/5
    15. Swords 5/5
    16. Talk 3/5
    17. Platforms 4/5
    Expand
  5. Nov 27, 2016
    8
    British hip - hop artist M.I.A. has come to the end of her 13 - year career, and has come up with this final fifth studio album (although sheBritish hip - hop artist M.I.A. has come to the end of her 13 - year career, and has come up with this final fifth studio album (although she has come up with mixtape Vicki Leekz). And yes, it is brilliant.

    Songs like Borders and Visa are politically challenging, and there's Freedun, a dreamy song about love, featuring vocals from pop singer Zayn Malik, and both remixes of Bird Song, which most likely breaks the world record for the song with the most bird puns in "I'm robin this joint".

    Although this is a bold and aurally pleasing album, it seems a little tame when compared to albums like ///Y/ and Matangi, having quite stationary and ostinato melodies. But overall, a great album.
    Expand
  6. Oct 20, 2016
    7
    Although the album is slightly uneven, the tracks are either catchy or well thought out... or both.
    Loving it, one of M.I.A best album to me.
    Although the album is slightly uneven, the tracks are either catchy or well thought out... or both.
    Loving it, one of M.I.A best album to me. Borders what's up with that?
    Expand
  7. Sep 13, 2016
    3
    English-Sri Lankan singer/rapper M.I.A is coming to the end of her star-studded career with a new album entitled AIM which she recentlyEnglish-Sri Lankan singer/rapper M.I.A is coming to the end of her star-studded career with a new album entitled AIM which she recently announced will be her last. She has strung some of the biggest hits such as Paper Planes over the years and is renowned for possessing a slightly out of tune voice, which ironically helps her sound distinct and compliment the productions in her material in a different way. Due to the occasion and predictable electronic theme of her material, I decided to roll through the record to see if it was a good send-off.

    The record features impressive, witty lyricism on a number of tracks like Borders and Foreign Friend. A good take on the tensions that have dramatically risen over the past few years regarding immigration and cultural clashes.

    The best tracks on the entire record for me are unquestionably Go Off and A.M.P. Skrillex had a hand in the production of both songs and his influence proves invaluable. The relentless intensity of the drums galvanises M.I.A.'s emphatic rapping and singing deliveries in a sharp, thrilling way. The extremely prominent autotune on Go Off works wonders and weave together the instrumentation like a web. For me it is clear that this type of production is far more catered to her strengths as her imperfections in her vocals really give the instrumentation life and more purpose.

    That's about it when it comes to the positives to take away from this album.

    Freedun, although lyrically sound, is a minute too long in length. There is absolutely no need for the same instrumentation to repeat over and over until it becomes a bore and something to skip through. The long drab, lazy, purposeless outro along with M.I.A.'s desolate, insignificant vocal snippets and chops unfortunately becomes a concurrent theme. Bird Song suffers from the same problem; the percussive synthesis on the cut is pretty good and I do like her vocal delivery but yet again it gradually becomes soulless, bland after becoming insanely repetitive from the two minute mark. If her lyricism or vocal delivery isn't going to pick up, the instrumentation should and that never really happens enough on the record to leave me satisfied.

    But there are tracks here that are less than satisfying. Or to put it better, the tracks that are quite frankly terrible. Jump In is basically equivalent to absolute garbage. Worst track on the whole record. It makes me furious and disappointed when I hear how weak and uninspiring M.I.A.'s vocals are - unfortunately continually panning and chopping them isn't going to save the overall track from being painfully bland and tasteless. This is one of those songs that desperately need instrumentation to survive. Survivor is also vomit, her voice does not in any shape or form cohere with the intergalactic themed instrumentation and it just made me cringe hearing her harrowingly sing "survivor" sloppily as the washy synthesized pads produced a completely different vibe. Ali R U OK? features more of her Southern Asian influences in regards to the instrumentation but yet again that does not save it from grace due to the obnoxiously cringy, constant "eh" spluttered across the track, which yet again is matched with very repetitive instrumentation from start to end.

    The rest of the tracks I feel indifferent to and think nothing of them.

    A good handful of these tracks would have better if they were shorter by a full minute. They were that bad. Execution is vital to allow lyricism to jab through and in too many instances did that below par element affect the other medium. The album is very unfocused. She doesn't sound half as good as she did perhaps ten years ago, and neither does the production in her material.

    Such a shame that her last album is generally sour and directionless, but the album isn't purely horrible. Apart from Go Off, A.M.P. and perhaps Bird Song, there's nothing unique or amazing regarding the production. This is a bad album.

    I will be listening to her older material from now on.
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See all 19 User Reviews