New M.I.A. Album Leaks, Makes Timbaland Sound Dull

Photo: Courtesy of XL/Interscope

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M.I.A., Kala

Official release date: August 21

We think: Maya Arulpragasam's follow-up to her 2005 debut is pretty much the Arular 2.0 that we expected: more robot bhangra and grimy dance hall, decorated with bigger hooks and better beats. Opener "Bamboo Banga" starts off as a cover of the Modern Lovers' "Road Runner," then mutates into Punjabi robo-crunk; "20 Dollar" confuses New Order's "Blue Monday" with Pixies' "Where Is My Mind" with impressive results; and inevitable single "Jimmy" sounds like something you'd hear while waiting in line to buy falafel in outer space. Kala will probably be the only album you'll hear in 2007 on which the lone Timbaland track (closer "Come Around") is the least interesting.