"Sunshine" by Rye Rye featuring M.I.A.
As the title implies, Rye Rye’s new “Go! Pop! Bang!” is sensory overload, a full-throttle fusion of rap, dance and electronica that can be mesmerizing or off-putting. Or both, if you’re a moody sort.
M.I.A. snatched up the now-21-year-old Baltimore vocalist, signing her to her N.E.E.T. label. And you can hear the British-Sri-Lankan performer/producer’s touch all over “Go! Pop! Bang!” In ways, the release almost feels like an American-friendly rebirth of M.I.A., who has been a fringe (and controversial) figure in U.S. music.
Rye Rye comes across as M.I.A. put through a Nicki Minaj/Ke$ha filter, with inventive, rhythm-focused arrangements crackling and exploding all around her high-pitched, machine-gun delivery. Guests broaden the sound — Robyn channels a Lady Gaga intonation on the chorus of “Never Will Be Mine,” and Akon is Rye Rye’s humorous foil on the politically incorrect “Crazy B----,” an improbably loving (and crazily infectious) tribute to jealous, irrational girlfriends.
M.I.A. herself drops in to sing the contagious refrain of “Sunshine,” a humming cut with a spellbinding chant providing weight to Rye Rye’s helium-infused playground braggadocio: “I can get yo man and his friend, too.”
Ultimately, the rapper outshines her supporters and owns this album. She dominates even the sirens and glitchy tricks of the buoyant “Drop,” she backs her boasts of keeping it hot on the scalding “Hotter,” and she rises beyond the Rihanna-esque chorus of the galloping “DNA” to declare, “I was born to shut it down ... It’s natural, I don’t need no Adderall.”
Rye Rye is a bundle of endless energy and cheeky charisma, riding the relentless reverberations of the grooves and celebrating hedonism with an exaggerated wink.
Subtlety is not in her vocabulary.
Rating: 4 stars (out of five)
© 2012, Knoxville News Sentinel Co.
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