DAILY POP
Album Review: M.I.A. - Matangi

There's one thing you know you will always get with M.I.A. and her music, and that's a full dose of raw and uncut Maya. Her delayed fourth album 'Matangi' is finally out today (November 5) and it definitely does not disappoint. With the variety of sonic influences on the record, nothing feels out of place and is arguably M.I.A.’s best body of work to date. The fusion of World sounds with EDM, along with r&b infused with rock, rap and garage is something that most people aside from M.I.A. could never pull off, but she does and does it exceedingly well. The 15-track instant classic has a little bit of everything, from social commentary, to pomp, as well as a complete disregard for playing it safe. The rebellious album is a banger from start to finish, and stays true to everything we have grown to love about M.I.A.

MIA
M.I.A Lashes Out....Again

M.I.A just cant stay out of the headlines lately, I really hope all this dialogue with the press isn't just a creative way to plug her new album.

So far all of her new music has been lacking that ‘quality' M.I.A sound but each song lyrically is a bombshell. Her newest track "I'm A Singer," which she posted to her official website on Sunday May 30th in response to a New York Times article that breaks down her controversial image.

ALBUM
On A Mission For The Next M.I.A. Album

M.I.A. has made a name for herself by successfully pushing the boundaries of established music criteria, whether that be pop, hip-hop, indie, or whatever label critics try to pigeonhole her into. She recently announced to the world that music fans can expect a follow-up to her chart busting A-bomb of an album, Kala, with a new disc of tracks that will be even more engrossed in musical concentration than anything that she has ever done previously. If you have been paying any attention at all last year, this is the album that longtime M.I.A. collaborator Diplo called “Gucci Mane meets Animal Collective.” With a statement like that from someone with the kind of avant-garde versatility as Diplo, this new album is something that anybody looking for hope for the future of the music industry can get behind.

BANANARAMA
I'm Dreaming of a Hardcore Christmas

After winning Canada’s esteemed Polaris Music Prize, the hardcore band Fucked Up have kept their word on using the $20,000 award to fund a Christmas benefit album for missing aborigine women in Canada. The band’s label, Matador records, has confirmed that the group will be collaborating with some of the biggest names in the music industry for a re-recording of “Do They Know It’s Christmas?”, originally released in 1984 as a charity single for an Ethiopian famine.

ANN ARBOR
Featured Artist Profile: Mayer Hawthorne

“I think Mayer is the only artist in the history of the label that I’ve signed after hearing only two songs. Sometimes, you just know it’s the right thing to do.” -Peanut Butter Wolf

When Mayer Hawthorne was introduced to Stones Throw records label head Peanut Butter Wolf, the veteran hip-hop producer couldn’t understand what this clean-cut, white boy from Ann Arbor, Michigan, was trying to sell him. The demo songs that Hawthorne played for the label head sounded like something from a smoky, noir-erotic film from the late 60s. Wolf recalls, “I asked him if they were old songs that he did re-edits of – I couldn’t believe they were new songs and that he played all the instruments.”

GWEN STEFANI
Leighton's Album Deets

If you didn't already know, Gossip Girl star Leighton Meester will be releasing an album this spring. Details have not yet been released, but Meester revealed a little bit more about her debut album to US Magazine. The actress, who plays Blair Waldorf, has been hard at work on the album which will be released next spring.

Some fans might be suprised by Leighton's multiple talents, but she has always been involved in the music scene. She even had a singing part in the film Drive-Thru. She says the debut album will be “edgy, like electro-pop,” a mix between Gwen Stefani and MIA and something “you can dance to.” We hope Meester is as big a success in the studio as she is on the small screen!