AOTY 2020


M.I.A. - Matangi
Critic Score
Based on 38 reviews
2013 Ratings: #255 / 1040
User Score
Based on 415 ratings
2013 Ratings: #110
Liked by 10 people
November 5, 2013 / Release Date
LP / Format
Interscope / Label
Electropop, Hip Hop / Genres / Website
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Those naysayers will declare this a fine return to form. From this desk, it is the only step forward for someone whose has proven herself so far ahead of the curve that everyone from Madge to Versace have come knocking on her door.

The Line of Best Fit

Her child-like rhymes may seem like she’s only toying with playground politics but she knows exactly where her strengths are; Matangi is a tribute to those talents and it’s an unmitigated thrill. 

Pretty Much Amazing

MATANGI is a total blast, one catchy, tough, clever, airtight, hyper-current track after another for a solid hour of off-the-hook fun that synthesizes everything that worked about Arular, Kala, and /\/\/\Y/\ while discarding those ideas that didn’t.


It does look like M.I.A is returning with vengeance. While '/\/\ /\ Y /\’ had interesting ideas at its epicentre, ‘Matangi’ manages to realise them, predominantly via the medium of infectious limb-jerking beatfoolery.


The result is an album with more ideas crammed into it than most other releases this year put together. It may not always work, but when it does, M.I.A. can still sound like the most exciting pop star on the planet.


She’s reminded us exactly why she’s important: she’s a hyper-intuitive artist with a mongrel sensibility who bows to no one. 


Like its creator, Matangi is flawed, frustrating, and occasionally confusing, but it's also intermittently brilliant and completely unique.

Consequence of Sound

Frankly, Matangi is the best M.I.A. album since at least Kala. So, if Yeezus earned an allowance for its lack of self-awareness and occasional ignorance by being a great album, Matangi earns the same allowance

The 405

It might be billed as a rap record, or even a dance album, but it honestly sounds like nothing else that has come before - and in that respect it is typical of all M.I.A. records.

Under The Radar

Her signature chaotic, frantic kitchen sink of noises permeate every song. There isn't much shift from album to album. She's found what works and she sticks to it. 

Tiny Mix Tapes

Poppy but pugnacious, familiar and yet dizzyingly foreign, Matangi is a contrarian work from an artist who lavishes us with liminality, with contradictions.

The Needle Drop
On M.I.A.'s latest record, the UK-based rapper, singer, and producer takes a small step away from the noisy production that made her last record so bombastic, but still manages to deliver a series of smart, infectious, and wild banger-style party tracks.

Matangi is not without charms, but unlike her most potent releases it sounds less interested in pushing and prodding the culture forward and more content to soar safely above it. 


Throughout the album, Arulpragasam proves she's as adept as ever at blending different sounds and cultures into a mix that is unmistakably hers


Even the best moments on it feel a bit rote and too reminiscent of her finest hours on the first two albums, as if she hasn’t been able to advance her creativity much further.

A.V. Club

It’s unfortunate that for a record that’s taken so long to make and that has so much artist-driven hype behind it, the most interesting part about Matangi is still just its story, not its songs.

love MIA's voice, the production is great, and the songs are solid. very enjoyable pop album.

FAVORITE - Bad Girls, Warriors, Matangi, Bring the Noize,Only 1 U
An amazing album from MIA, who returns with an amazing project which is more for the mainstream ears with tracks such as Bad Girls, which was a major political track about middle eastern driving rights for women, which could be a club banger. MIA, hasn't shied away from her politics, she just makes music more listenable for the average music consumer. Tracks such as YALA, a major vibe, which is featured on the NBA2K16 soundtrack. Sexodus and exodus. Double Trouble as well, more for the ... read more
m.i.a. discography dive #5


simultaneously evoking the hindu goddess of music and her own interior deity of empowerment, matangi is the most personal record maya has ever released. while still keeping her unapologetic and explicit critiques against the patriarchy and her familiar political messages, m.i.a. offers us a very compelling journey through her own intimate world, presenting us with a side of her rather unknown and fresh

with sexually charged lyrics, a raw and disjointed production ... read more
M.I.A. is one of my favorite artists of our generation, she leaked so much of her culture into present day pop. Matagni keeps up with energy that previous albums in her catalog have while also being more accessible to listeners. A 2010's classic lowkey.
EDIT: i find myself only going back to certain tracks on this album, and i havent gone through the LP as a whole since first listen.
i really really enjoyed this album, it was nicely produced, and M.I.A.'s voice never gets old to me. love the different cultural sounds that are present in all tracks, also love the various messages sent throughout the LP.
fav tracks: warriors, aTENTion, exodus, know it ain't right
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Year End Lists

#26/Piegons & Planes
#47/Rolling Stone

Track List

  1. Karmageddon
  3. Only 1 U
  4. Warriors
  5. Come Walk With Me
  6. aTENTion
  7. Exodus
  8. Bad Girls
  9. Boom Skit
  10. Double Bubble Trouble
  11. Y.a.l.a
  12. Bring The Noize
  13. Lights
  14. Know It Ain’t Right
  15. Sexodus
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Added on: January 7, 2013