The 50 Best Songs of 2012 (So Far)

15. M.I.A. "Bad Girls"

Album: Matangi
Producer: Danja
Label: Interscope


Part of what made M.I.A.'s sophomore album, Arular (2005), such a classic was how it balanced abrasive instrumentals and new-world awareness with a pop sensibility. "Bad Girls" sounds like it could have easily came from that era. Danja's excellent production backs M.I.A. as she aggressively retakes her throne. "Don't go screaming if I blow you with a bang," she sings like she means it. Is that bad enough for ya? OK then. Get the hell out of this girl's way.

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