M.I.A., ‘Baby’ – Song Review
M.I.A. ‘s latest single is spare and sexual, the William Orbit-produced track ‘Baby.’
Opening with an eruption of sludgy synths, the listen is startling and slow-growing: Bass booms and guitar delays are set against M.I.A.’s singsong raps, pulled off with the kind of swagger that earned her a spot on Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
Orbit is no stranger to sonic experiment — he produced Blur‘s electronic and abstract ‘13.’ While the instrumentation is on the surreal side — especially that cataclysmic breakdown in the last third of the song — the lyrics couldn’t be more direct, with M.I.A. talking about meeting in a club and asking, “Can you make a woman out of me?”
Attraction is a challenge for the interdisciplinary artist, though she might have met her match: “It’s hard to find a dude that gets the better out of me,” she says, stretching out the last syllable. Girl’s still got subtle vocal style. Later on she riffs on the “B” in “I’m bad” and says that if you want to get at her, just “holla.”
Keeping up with her aggressive and affectionate aesthetic, ‘Baby’ is the latest off of ‘Matangi,’ M.I.A.’s fourth studio album, due for release this year on Mercury Records. In the meantime, check her new remix of ‘Lost Girls’ with hip hop legend Missy Elliot or listen to the over-the-top sugar rush of ‘Come Walk With Me.’
Listen to M.I.A., ‘Baby’