I don’t think I could conceivably tire of M.I.A. giddily rapping “Lara Croft is soft when it comes to my stuff, she’s made up, I’m real, that’s enough,” which is precisely her recycled line from the melodic, low-key banger “Freedun.” It’s not just that the line from her latest single from the upcoming A.I.M. is endearingly goofy, it sounds like M.I.A. is delivering it from atop a cloud looking down on the legions of haters. Everything from the fizzy little background synths to Zayn Malik’s robotic harmonizing makes this Polow Da Don production absolutely shine. For someone so well-known for causing “furors,” “Freedun” is remarkably calm. When M.I.A. sings about this being a broadcast from the “People’s Republic of Swagistan,” she’s not kidding. It takes a lot of swag to be so damn calm, cool and collected.
A.I.M. drops September 9 through Interscope.