There’s nothing missing from this debut, including all the deserved hype for the London artist. Speculation over the Sri Lankan-born MC’s political messages shouldn’t overshadow the fact that this is the freshest pop album out there. “I’ve got the bombs to make you blow/ I’ve got the beats to make you bang,” MIA commands—singing like a butterfly, sting- ing like a bee. From dancehall to double-dutch, from Missy Elliot to Super Mario, MIA’s swaggering, ragged rhythms are a call to action on the dance floor.
—Sue Carter Flinn