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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Arular is the 2005 debut album by British musician M.I.A. Originally set for a September 2004 release, the album was delayed due to problems obtaining permission to use samples. Arular was finally released in the US on 22 March 2005 and a month later in the UK, where it had a slightly different track listing. The album's release was preceded in 2004 by two singles and a mixtape.

M.I.A. wrote or co-wrote all the songs on the album and created the basic backing tracks using a Roland MC-505 sequencer/drum machine given to her by long-time friend Justine Frischmann. Several producers worked on the album, including Switch, Diplo, and Richard X. The album's title is the political code name used by her father, Arul Pragasam, during his involvement with Sri Lankan Tamil militant groups, and themes of conflict and revolution feature heavily in the lyrics. Musically, the album incorporates styles that range from hip hop and electroclash to funk carioca and punk rock.

Arular was hailed by critics for its blending of styles and integration of political lyrics into dance tunes. It was nominated for the Mercury Prize in 2005 and was included in the book 1001 Albums You Must Hear Before You Die. Although it only reached number 98 on the UK Albums Chart and number 190 on the US Billboard 200, several publications named it as one of the best albums of 2005. By mid-2007, the album had sold 129,000 copies in the US. Arular spawned the singles "Sunshowers", "Bucky Done Gun" and "Galang", which was released twice.

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Arular" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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