Now you can finally hear what I've been blabbering about this whole time. Check out M.I.A.'s MySpace page where all 12 tracks from her about-to-be-released sophomore album Kala are available for your streaming pleasure. Hey look: Robert Christgau says "Kala strikes deep," 4.5 out of 5 stars. You don't want to mess with Christgau. Anyway, you can spend money on Kala next Tuesday. Predictions for where it'll chart? Considering Arular never made it past #190 on the Billboard album charts, I'll say Kala will debut at... #39.
Update, 8/16: I've read the Christgau review a couple times now and I'd just like to point out how brilliant it is. Please check it out. He uncovers a few insights that are absolutely true and totally fascinating: 1) the fact that the full-album collaboration with Timbaland didn't come to pass is probably due not only to the visa troubles but also to M.I.A. realizing that she didn't want to become Nelly Furtado; 2) the album, therefore, is less accessible, an uncompromising, jagged "art record," and 3) it recalls nothing so much as The Clash, whose aggression, multicultural influences, political expression, and DIY aesthetic combined with great songwriting skills to create a couple masterpieces. That could all be describing M.I.A., and when you think about it, this is totally the record the Clash would be making if they were making records today. Look at Big Audio Dynamite! Dude is 65 years old figuring out this s***. I bow down.