The consistently irritating factor with MAYA—the one driving what must be the meanest review I’ve ever written—is that all the gaudiness, tackiness and over-the-topness of M.I.A.’s style used to feel like an artistic choice to counter the gruesomeness of the subject matter she tackled. Here, the gaudiness just feels like bad taste, the gruesomeness for shock’s sake. Fortunately, it feels like M.I.A. is still trying when making the choices that form MAYA. Hopefully, next time around, these choices will inform better decisions.