M.I.A.’s ‘too positive’ album ‘Matangi’ set for April

M.I.A. performs during the Super Bowl XLVI halftime show in Indianapolis.
(Christopher Polk / Getty Images)
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M.I.A.’s upcoming record, “Matangi,” was expected to arrive sometime in 2012 after last January’s release of the album’s anthemic lead single, “Bad Girls.” But save for a rather odd collaboration with Madonna, she was mostly silent the rest of the year.

Now, nearly a year after releasing the single, the politically charged electro-pop femcee says the album will arrive in April, leading music bloggers to speculate that the holdup was due to a rift with Interscope Records, despite the label having never announced a firm release date.

During an interview teasing a headlining slot at Australian music festival Summafieldayze, M.I.A. told the Gold Coast website that she’s “having a bit of an issue at the label” over feedback that the disc -- a follow-up to 2010’s “Maya” -- is “too positive.”


“I thought I’d finished it,” said the British-born, Sri Lankan-bred artist. “I finished it and then I handed the record in, like a couple of months ago. They’re like, ‘You need to like darken it up a bit.’ I don’t know what it is, but as soon as I work that out.

“It’s like, ‘We just built you up as the public enemy No. 1, and now you’re coming out with all this positive stuff,’ ” she later said.

While the often polarizing Tamil performer (she caught heat in February after giving the middle finger during her appearance at Madonna’s Super Bowl halftime performance) didn’t say whether she would be making any changes to the disc, she did say that she was still working on it and taking her time “to decide what they mean.”

Her label confirmed that “Matangi,” which references both her birth name and a Hindu goddess, will arrive in stores April 15 -- the Tamil new year.

In May, it was announced that Jay-Z’s Roc Nation would now manage M.I.A.


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