M.I.A. "Jimmy"

M.I.A. 'Jimmy'
Kala was basically an all-you-can-eat singles buffet, but M.I.A.’s drunken disco joint (or at least that’s how she describes it) definitely stood out as the most exotic pop single she had mustered up. Though no one was convinced it was an original, she still managed to fool us all into thinking she and Switch had put an Eastern spin on Boney M’s "Rasputin.” Instead it turned out to be a motored cover of Bollywood star Parvati Khan’s flamboyant "Jimmy Jimmy Aja” taken from the 1982 film Disco Dancer. A tribute to a song she "used to do dance routines to at parties and stuff, to earn money” when she was six, M.I.A.’s adept hand at re-sculpting this majestic number is nothing short of brilliant, as she manages to both uphold the disco cheese of its 25-year-old framework while modernising it for our retro kicks. Keeping the cinematic melodrama intact, Maya weaves and bobs between the silky synthetic strings, firing her war-torn rhymes off with tragic Hindi passion, histrionically channelling the lovelorn romancer on the chorus’s trailing falsetto cry. Though it was painted with palatable production and tremendous melodies, for a reason that god only knows, it failed to be M.I.A.’s first proper hit. Further insult came with the video channel neglect for the gorgeous multi-limbed psychedelic’n’neon romp in the video, which is the most fitting of tributes. (I still appreciate the original’s (second below) camp value more though, thanks to the tormented hero’s distraught gaze.)