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M.I.A. performs in concert.

Arular is the 2005 debut album by British musician M.I.A. (pictured). It was released in the US on 22 March 2005 and a month later in the UK, where it had a slightly different track listing. The album's release was preceded in 2004 by two singles and a mixtape. M.I.A. wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album and created the basic backing tracks using a Roland MC-505 sequencer/drum machine given to her by long-time friend Justine Frischmann. Collaborators included Switch, Diplo, and Richard X. The album's title is the political code name used by her father, Arul Pragasam, during his involvement with Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, and themes of conflict and revolution feature heavily in the lyrics and artwork. Musically, the album incorporates styles that range from hip hop and electroclash to funk carioca and punk rock. Arular was hailed by critics for its blending of styles and integration of political lyrics into dance tunes. Several publications named it as one of the best albums of the year, and by mid-2007, the album had sold 129,000 copies in the US. Arular spawned the singles "Sunshowers", "Bucky Done Gun" and "Galang", which was released twice. (more...)

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