New CD releases this week

‘MAYA’ - M.I.A. (Interscope Records)

In this CD cover image released by Interscope Records, the latest release from M.I.A., 'MAYA' is shown. (AP Photo/Interscope Records)

In this CD cover image released by Interscope Records, the latest release from M.I.A., "MAYA" is shown. (AP Photo/Interscope Records)

Like her previous albums, M.I.A.’s third work, “MAYA,” is akin to a pop art installation.

She takes street slang, sampled beats and plenty of attitude and craftily twists them into a multilayered, startling statement that serves biting social commentary.

The relentless punk-style drumming on “Born Free” — courtesy of a sample of Suicide’s “Ghost Rider” — is matched by a fired up M.I.A., who sounds like she’s belting into a backyard sound system.While there are plenty of frenetic, whirring sounds on “MAYA,” her signature clanging rhythms eventually give way to the mellowed out sounds of songs like the aptly titled, “Space.” The song’s lullaby-ish melody and echoing lyrics conjure images of an orbiting M.I.A., happily unplugged from Earth and its old news.

And M.I.A. is unexpectedly sweet on the downtempo, reggae-influenced “It Takes a Muscle.” It’s a stark contrast to “Meds and Feds,” in which the grit overpowers the groove, making it one the album’s most difficult to digest.

‘Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty’ - Big Boi (Def Jam Recordings)

In this CD cover image released by Def Jam Recordings, Big Boi's, 'Sir Lucious Left Foot,' is shown. (AP Photo/Def Jam Recordings)

In this CD cover image released by Def Jam Recordings, Big Boi's, "Sir Lucious Left Foot," is shown. (AP Photo/Def Jam Recordings)

Big Boi’s solo effort, “Sir Lucious Left Foot: The Son of Chico Dusty,” starts with a whistle that kicks up images of tumbleweeds just before a Wild West shootout. He’s no cowboy, but the baritone rapper still has the no-nonsense swagger of John Wayne.

It’s that hard-nosed style that lends itself to “General Patton,” in which Big Boi mounts a verbal attack against hangers-on and assailants of the South — all backed by a cathedral choir fit for the score of “Angels & Demons.”

One of the album’s best collaborations features Big Boi playing background to the out-of-this-world, futuristic Janelle Monae on the dreamy “Be Still.” And not all of his partners on the album are buzzed-about names — new guy Neil Garrard helps Big Boi out on “Follow Us,” in which listeners get insight into why the industry veteran has returned.

“I’ve been patiently waiting to weigh in/ Been under construction for two years but now it’s bout that time I Double Dutch my way in/ Left foot right foot, steppin over biters/ It’s like the game is haunted cuz there’s so many ghostwriters.”

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