M.I.A.: XXXO (Single Review)

M.I.A.‘s “XXXO” is a delicious, concise cut of modern electro-pop. Clocking in at just under three minutes and in keeping with her second album’s sound (“Jimmy”) and her dancier beginnings (Arular), the song is easily one of the artist’s most glittery pop productions yet.

In fact, “XXXO” is so accessibly electro-pop that it seems the release of her controversial rebel rant from a few weeks ago, “Born Free,” was probably meant as a kind of warning shot before this song’s release.

As if to curtail the dreaded “sell out!!!” comments she may have gotten for releasing this song first, “Born Free” kept the political punch of M.I.A.’s career coming back with power power, allowing this new song to sneak by with something far more…well, user friendly. (There are lyrics about tweeting!) It’s just a shame the song doesn’t last longer.

I still don’t know if “XXXO” could actually impact mainstream radio, but it’s probably M.I.A.’s most likely candidate (aside from the entirely over-hyped “Paper Planes.”) Then again, I’m not sure M.I.A. wants to be played on the radio.

On a side note, the beginning note is near identical to Ke$ha‘s “Blah Blah Blah,” which produces a strange fear in me every time I hit play.

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