Tuesday 26 July 2011


Spooky, eerie, strange, controversial, stupid, bad, not up to scratch, brilliant, wonderful, different, wreathed in mystique, fantastic - these are just a few of the words that the 200,000+ minds who have listened to M.I.A.'s new tribute track '27' might have thought of it. What do you think of it?

It is indeed a spooky sound, a thin beat applied like an exotic lotion throughout and speckled with crackles and fizzes that sound so ephemeral that MIA might have made this in some alternate dimension. The lyrics to this song are darkly honest, and pertain mainly to the whole 27 club thing, charting her friendship before a friend killed themselves at the age of 27 (whether this is analogous to an actual real event, I'm unsure). The stand-out line, for me, is the bleakly mundane, "I bought you coffee and a muffin, and you quoted me some Lenin", followed by the stark and pretty horrible closer: "When I left, you befriended a rope, and I saw you both were hanging."

Obviously this is a tribute to Amy Winehouse - whether or not it's actually about her, her death clearly sparked the making of this song. But how did she do it so quickly? Well, it's actually an unfinished demo that the superstar music-maker had made previously, and she said it was a dedication to "all my friends who died at 27", announcing this with a tweet that read: "I recorded this song B4 vickileekx and never put it out. It's a unfinished demo. R.I.P Amy".

Typically, The Daily Mail has reported this with some amount of contention - "However, it has been seen as not only being too soon after the singer's death, but in very bad taste as well." This is due to the subject matter, purportedly being too much about the tough times that people go through with addiction, plus romanticising the whole 27 thing. But what can be seen as harrowing can also be seen as the truth, and what can be seen as romanticising can equally be seen as a folly of youth.

Either way, in all fairness, it's a song and it was done as a tribute. It's controversial, but if people see it as negative, be that on their own thick, closed-minded heads. And it's a decent track too. Shut up.

• Check MIA's one-track SoundCloud - I'm sure there'll be more stuff up soon
• Here's her official site
• Follow MIA on Twitter

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