It seems almost superflous for “Bad Girls” to be released as the first single for M.I.A.’s untitled upcoming album — not because the song isn’t great, but because many of us have been listening to a slightly truncated version of the track for over year on her excellent Vicki Leekx mixtape.
For those that missed out the first time around, “Bad Girls” sees M.I.A. returning to form, forgoing the grating noise and overall unpleasantness that defined her last album, /\/\/\Y/\. With what will surely be a relief for some fans, “Bad Girls” disregards any notions of the political in favor of a catchy, somewhat meaningless refrain: “Live fast, die young / Bad girls do it well” sings Maya. Sure, why not. The true success of “Bad Girls” can be credited largely to production from Timbaland protegé Danja, whose cocktail of slinky pop owes a thing or two to Diplo’s past success with M.I.A.. Ultimately, it’s a single strong enough to warrant the re-release, and there’s something to be said for not having to fast forward to 14:55 to hear the track. Let’s hope M.I.A.’s new album lives up. (Pitchfork)