When it comes to getting from Point A (obscurity) to Point B (critical and commercial success), M.I.A. sure isn’t traveling in a straight line. (Scream Awards, anyone?) Thus it’s only fitting that the lost track from MAYA that recently resurfaced is called “Zig Zag.” Surprisingly, it’s a relatively straightforward, catchy tune from an artist whose antics are often anything but — she even borrows the “Oh oh oh-oh-oh”s from New Kids on the Block’s legendary “You’ve Got It (The Right Stuff)!” Take a listen below.
“Kiss me and I’ll kiss you back / You zig me and I’ll zag you back,” M.I.A. sings on the bouncy, chipper track. The electronic production, of course, fits right in with the rest of MAYA, but the song is a little more melodic than many of that album’s offerings. And, dare we say, a little more mainstream, too — particularly the homage to Donnie, Danny, Joey, Jordan, and Jonathan. The sing-songy chorus is slightly reminiscent of “Paper Planes,” the track that put the oft-unfashionable Sri Lankan on the mainstream map in the first place (temporarily, at least).
Of course, M.I.A. still retains some of her trademark controversial flair here thanks to lyrics like: “Thanks to my mom and daddy / Hot-spicy like their curry / Over there, toilet that way” — a parental shout-out only marginally classier than Christina Aguilera’s. So it isn’t exactly a Selena Gomez track, either.
If we were better acquainted with the Vikki Leekx mixologist, we’d have advised her not to axe this track. Then again, if we were better acquainted with M.I.A., we’d probably have a whole laundry list of things we’d advise her to do differently.
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