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Tough-talking rhymes about revolution, freedom fighters, and sex; rude-boy patois straight outta South London; and garbage-can grimy beats all come wrapped up in the colorful, comely package of M.I.A. -- also known as Maya Arulpragasam. A 29-year-old Londoner of Sri Lankan extraction (her father was a Tamil Tiger separatist), M.I.A. made waves in 2004 with "Galang," a single that folded in elements of dancehall, "grime" techno, South Asian percussion, and '80s-style pop à la Malcolm McLaren's "Buffalo Gals" with her hyperactive, multivoiced chants and rhymes. It was so inescapable in the U.K. that the backlash had begun there before her debut was released in the States. Arular expands on the promise of the 12-inch with twitchy, distorted beats and socially conscious observations ranging from the wry (the immigrant blues of "Banana Skit") to the weird (the Patty Hearstlike abduction tale "Amazon"). Arulpragasam takes most of her political cues from Chomskyites such as Asian Dub Foundation -- come to think of it, she takes their South Asian-by-way-of-Jamaica toasting style, too -- which can ring harsh to American ears ("like PLO we don't surrend-o," she promises in "Sunshowers"). Likewise, M.I.A.'s rude-girl stance is a pose that might be too strident for a country in which Pink and Cristina Aguilera are "rebels." But the vivacious, girly vocals flirting around the clanging, clamorous beats make Arular intriguing and ultimately addictive.