“Live fast / Die young / Bad girls do it well” — now there’s a line Lana Del Rey wished she’d written. Too bad M.I.A. got there first. The irresistibly sassy lyric provides the hook on “Bad Girls,” the first single (via Pitchfork) from M.I.A.’s forthcoming as-yet-untitled album, her first for new label Mercury and first since 2010’s divisive Maya. The new effort is due for release later this year.
The single is a reworked version of a track originally found on M.I.A.’s 2010 Vicki Leekx mixtape. Some background bleeps and blorps have been mixed down and some percussion turned up, but to these ears, “Bad Girls” is pretty similar to its original incarnation as a mid-tempo, vaguely sinister rhythm slither, carried along by Ms. Maya Arulpragasam’s nicely haughty vocal delivery and Danja’s inexorable, squalling beat.
The release of the single is the start of a busy time for M.I.A., who will release the Romain Gavras-directed video for “Bad Girls” on February 3 and guests on Madonna’s upcoming “Gimme All Your Luvin’ “ single.