After a few years atop a wave of positive buzz, Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam—a.k.a. M.I.A.—felt the chilly slap of a backlash for her new third album, / \ / \ / \ Y / \ (or Maya). It began with some unflattering public outbursts (notably a feud with a New York Times writer) and gained momentum with some disparaging advance word of the new album—even from one of its producers. Longtime collaborator (and ex-boyfriend) Diplo compared / \ / \ / \ Y / \ to Skinny Puppy, and it wasn't hyperbole: Most of the album is joylessly abrasive and contrarian, meaning fans looking for another "Paper Planes" will likely be disappointed. That's not necessarily bad; / \ / \ / \ Y / \ is an undeniably gutsy record, even if it isn't as enjoyable as its predecessors. How it will translate live is another question mark—but it should be interesting regardless.