Whatever else the above tweet from pop-star M.I.A. says (and I'm legitimately confused on some points) it serves as double-confirmation of her widely rumored appearance with Madonna and Nicki Minaj at this Sunday's Super Bowl half-time show. The trio will reportedly perform "Give Me All Your Luvin'," the first single from Madonna's M.D.N.A (oh, brother) which is not-so-coincidentally set to drop later this week. The much-anticipated song, which will soon be referred to by area dads as "whatever the hell was going on between "Like a Virgin" and "Vogue"" will be "previewed" on this Thursday's American Idol (as a modern attention span appropriate blip, no doubt). Also popping up, in a somewhat less-explicable fashion during Madonna's half-time extravaganza will be LMFAO and Cee-Lo Green. It should be really goofy. I'm kind of excited.
In other M.I.A. news: This morning, PItchfork premiered "Bad Girls," the first single from her in-the-works 4th LP, which has no confirmed title or release date as of yet but is expected in summer. The song is an expansion of a snippet included in her Vicki Leekx mix-tape, right around this time last year. It's not altered significantly from that version, and it isn't much longer, even. Danja's production gets a cleaner showcase, and his relentlessly mid-tempo bang is the best part. As opposed to the /\/\ /\ Y /\ material (boy, that is still hard to type) it's rhythmically bright and clean, nowhere near what Diplo so memorably described as sounding "like Skinny Puppy." Its relative low-key nature might makes you a tad wistful for the Kala days, when her new singles were lightning fast and WTF. Or just classic pop. Vocally, Maya sounds a little muddy, not so much fierce as fronting it.
The lyrics are the worst part by a fair margin. There's no eye-rolling political agit-prop, but there's nothing taking up its void either. It's about being a bad girl, and driving a car. (But which seat will she take??) It acts like "get down" rhymes with "you can hang." It's just sort of filling space. I want her next album to be really awesome, I promise, because I miss really awesome M.I.A. songs. (I still kind of like "Born Free" even, though that just means I like "Ghost Rider" and am sensitive to the plight of disenfranchised gingers.) This is just a respectable return to level, after a series of critical blows. Let's hope there's something with a little bit more baffling oomph waiting in the wings.
You can follow Jeff on Twitter @jeff_klingman