Thursday, March 19, 2009

#992 M.I.A. "Paper Planes" (XL, 2007)

There's nothing much left to be written about this song, its legion of remixes, and its handful of repurposings that the critverse/bloggerati haven't said in quadruplicate squared already, and I've bled my little own ink pool over it, too. But I'd like to add that being forced to hear the thing ad infinitum over the past 13-15 months via a multitude of media platforms has led me to really appreciate how catchy and clever "Paper Plains" ultimately is. When Kala dropped, I felt right away that I, you know, got the album - but five listens later it just felt too derivative and lightweight and beyond "Bamboo Banga" and maybe the one with the rapping child solidiers I didn't have much use for the disc. "Plains" is great, though, isn't it? And when you've gotta listen to "Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes" 3-5 times a day because your two-year old is all up on it, you begin to appreciate how insiduous the "substituting provocative samples" for actual words trick can be, and the crafty juxtaposition involved in writing a song about about faking Visas and revolution that little kids can get down to.

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