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Taking sides: Will M.I.A. win us back at FreeFest?

Will M.I.A. bounce back at FreeFest?

On Click Track, 2010 might be remembered as the year that M.I.A. pushed our buttons, broke our hearts, pumped us up and let us down. We've dedicated a whole lotta keystrokes to Ms. Arulpragasam this year, both before and after truffle-fry-gate the release of her disappointing third album "MAYA."

But then last night, Diplo leaked this M.I.A. demo -- a tune casually dripping with so much cool and wit and smarts, it reminded us why we adored this woman in the first place. The whiplash continues!

In many ways, M.I.A.'s FreeFest performance on Saturday will be a moment of truth for us. Will her set be a revelation or a disappointment? We mulled it over in our weekly Taking sides post.

Read our thoughts after the jump and share yours in the comments.

Chris Richards: I have built a shrine to Paul Shaffer's shiny dome. I've been reciting old top ten lists like scripture. I've thrown my CDR copy of "Piracy Funds Terrorism" into the bathtub. "Will It Float?" All in hopes that M.I.A.'s FreeFest performance channels just half the magic of her "Letterman" performance back in July. But I still don't think it's going to happen.

Allison Stewart: It could go either way, I guess. But the thing with M.I.A. is, she seems to think the backlash against her -- which is driven by mostly-fair bad press, some awful shows and her iffy new album -- is everyone's fault but hers. I don't know if she thinks she has anything to prove to anyone. But on the plus side, diminishing expectations are now her friend. As long as it doesn't rain, the sound isn't catastrophically bad and nobody riots, she can consider it a victory.

David Malitz: With M.I.A., it's all about expectations now. We expect her to be a revolutionary but she eats truffle fries and marries rich, so we feel like we've been hoodwinked. She releases a pair of instant-classics and then comes back with a messy and mediocre album that becomes a catastrophic failure because of what came before it. So now she'hs wortless for 2010 and she can play a sorta-kinda-good show and it's all "M.I.A. delivers surprise triumph!" Based on reports she's mostly playing songs from her first couple of albums and it's going to be outside and the bass will be cranked to ridiculous levels, sure, I think she'll end up delivering one of the day's best sets.

By Click Track  | September 23, 2010; 1:30 PM ET
Categories:  Taking sides  | Tags:  M.I.A.  
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Next: Clicky shuffle: Random songs for Friday morning

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