Here’s something you don’t often hear coming out of the music industry these days—a record label receives a new album from an artist, and then refuses to release it as-is because the album is simply too… happy. That’s right, too positive. And that’s exactly what happened to M.I.A., who was all set to drop her anticipated fourth album, Matangi, in December 2012, before her record label asked her to hold off as the album was “too positive.”
That’s right, too positive. According to M.I.A., she’s now taking a time-out to decide what to do next. As she puts it:
“I thought I’d finished it. I finished it and then I handed the record in, like a couple of months ago… At the moment, I’ve been told it’s too positive. So we’re having a bit of an issue at the label. They’re like, ‘You need to darken it up a bit”… 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.’”
The album is now scheduled for an April 15th release. It is unclear as to whether or not M.I.A. will be making serious changes to the album, or if the delay is simply to allow for her and the record company to negotiate the release of the album as it is. Either way, it’s still an odd moment in modern pop—an artist being told that she and her music is simply too positive and happy to be unleashed upon an unsuspecting public. Can you imagine the horror if we were forced to listen to a—gulp—happy record?
What do you think of the M.I.A. news?