For the first minute and a half of M.I.A.’s new single, “Come Walk With Me,” just posted to her Tumblr and released on iTunes today, you might think it’s her most mellow song ever. Over the kind of reverb-heavy guitars that might make you reach to throw your lighters up, M.I.A. invites you not to break stuff or to dance—but instead to take a nice leisurely stroll. “You ain’t gotta shake it, just be with me,” she sings, “You ain’t gotta throw your hands in the air/ ’Cause tonight we ain’t acting like we don’t care.” In other words, she’s singing about how you don’t always have to dance.
This new mode doesn’t last long. On a dime, Maya turns back to the kind of aggressive, world-trotting beat familiar from her previous albums, complete with a synth line reminiscent of “XR2” and a distorted sample of “Bamboo Banga” (she's "coming back with power, power”). M.I.A. may be more and more unafraid to get up-close and personal and release love songs, but she hasn’t forgotten what made her famous, either.
M.I.A. Wrote a Vulnerable, Blur-Sampling Breakup Song
This M.I.A. Doc Looks Like It Deserves a Release
M.I.A. Brings the “Noize” in Her New Song
TODAY IN SLATE
The Self-Made Man
The story of America’s most pliable, pernicious, irrepressible myth.
The GOP Senate Candidate in Iowa Doesn’t Want Voters to Know Just How Conservative She Really Is
Does Your Child Have “Sluggish Cognitive Tempo”? Or Is That Just a Disorder Made Up to Scare You?
The Supreme Court, Throughout Its History, Has Been a Massive Disappointment
Why Indians in America Are Mad for India’s New Prime Minister
Now Stare. Don’t Stop.
The perfect political wife’s loving gaze in campaign ads.
You Deserve a Pre-cation
The smartest job perk you’ve never heard of.