on the right track: M.I.A. – tell me why

*trying to do more song reviews in addition to my first impression album reviews. found it fitting to start with a song from my most recent one.

M.I.A has been gradually sharing her new album /\/\/\Y/\ (which i’m somewhat impressed with) one song at a time for a couple months now. even with the full-length release less than a week away, she’s still making like a leaky faucet with the digital release of the album’s penultimate and probably best track.

in my review, i only briefly touched on the diplo-produced “tell me why,” dubbing it “as close to a ‘paper planes’ singalong as this album has.” further listens have only intensified my infatuation with it. like previous single “XXXO,” this song finds maya stretching herself vocally (though i’m pretty sure i’m hearing some autotuned assistance in there). this time, it’s over a stuttering martial beat with wordless, panda bearish washes of choral reverb, lamenting complacency and compelling us to “throw your hands up like you’re mad at the ceiling.” while this song will certainly inspire hand raising (it has “live fave” written all over it), it won’t be out of anger so much as euphoric abandon. well done.

buy “tell me why” now on iTunes if you can’t wait till next week, though it sounds even better followed by “space.”


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