By Kyle Anderson
January 07, 2013 at 04:00 PM EST
Kevin Mazur/WireImage

High-profile albums get delayed all the time, though rarely do pop stars find their work bumped in this climate because they smile too much.

But that’s apparently the reason M.I.A.’s label told her the world would have to wait until April to hear Matangi. During an interview promoting a performance at a festival in Australia, she told The Gold Coast, “At the moment, I’ve been told it’s too positive. So we’re having a bit of an issue at the label.”

“I thought I’d finished it,” she continued. “I finished it and then I handed the record in, like a couple of months ago. They’re like ‘You need to, like, darken it up a bit.’ I don’t know what it is but as soon as I work that out. It’s like, ‘We just built you up as the public enemy number one, and now you’re coming out with all this positive stuff.'”

The idea of an M.I.A. album being “too positive” is particularly vexing, especially considering the album’s first single “Bad Girls” (which contains the refrain “Live fast, die young”), and its accompanying stunt-tastic music video (which, it should be noted, is nominated for a Grammy). And wouldn’t it be good to rehab M.I.A.’s image a little bit considering the other notable thing she did in 2012 was flip the bird during her appearance in Madonna’s Super Bowl performance, which felt like a particularly lame act of rebellion?

The release date for M.I.A.’s Matangi is now April 15. Do you think “too positive” is code for something? And should M.I.A. force the album through even if it is “too positive”? For an artist as singular-minded as she usually is, wouldn’t it be a little odd if she gave in to this type of feedback? Sound off in the comments.


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