Official release date: July 13
The Verdict: As it turns out, Diplo was right: A lot of M.I.A.’s new album actually does sound kinda like Skinny Puppy! Judging by the leak of /\/\/\Y/\ currently spreading around the Internet, the album is mainly comprised of extremely grating, quasi-industrial noise paired with stiff beats and M.I.A.’s menacingly nasal voice. In the abstract, that’s pretty cool, but the reality of the album is that it is very light on the sort of weapons-grade pop hooks that made her last two records so bold and exciting. Without compelling tunes, the beats drag and the noise is just annoying. There are some good ideas, but none are developed into anything particularly memorable. It’d be easier to deal with this album if it were nonstop arty noise, but its attempts at pop bangers are anemic at best, resulting in drab tracks like “XXXO” and “Tell My Why” that push her thin voice to the limit without much reward. Most disappointing, her collaboration with Derek Miller of Sleigh Bells has resulted in nothing more than jacking the riff from his song “Treats” and making it sound much, much less awesome.