Sia / This Is Acting

This Is Acting

Sia Kate Isobelle Furler (born 18 December 1975), referred to mononymously as Sia (/ˈsə/), is an Australian singer, songwriter, record producer and video music director. She started her career as a singer in the local Adelaide acid jazz band Crisp in the mid-1990s. In 1997, when Crisp disbanded, she released her debut studio album titled OnlySee in Australia. She then moved to London, England, and provided lead vocals for the British duo Zero 7.

In 2000, Sia signed to Sony Music‘s sub-label Dance Pool and released her second studio album, Healing Is Difficult, the following year. Displeased with the promotion of the record, she signed to Go! Beat and released her third studio album, Colour the Small One, in 2004. The project struggled to connect with a mainstream audience, and so Sia relocated to New York City in 2005 and began touring across the United States. She released her fourth and fifth studio releases, Some People Have Real Problems and We Are Born, in 2008 and 2010, respectively. She then took a hiatus from performing, during which she focused on songwriting for other artists. Her catalogue includes the successful collaborations “Titanium” (with David Guetta), “Diamonds” (with Rihanna) and “Wild Ones” (with Flo Rida).

In 2014, Sia released her sixth studio album 1000 Forms of Fear, which debuted at No 1 in the U.S. Billboard 200 and generated the top-ten breakthrough single “Chandelier” and a trilogy of music videos starring child dancer Maddie Ziegler. In 2016, she released her seventh studio album This Is Acting, which spawned her first Hot 100 number one single, “Cheap Thrills“. The same year, Sia gave her Nostalgic for the Present Tour, which incorporated performance art elements. Sia has received an array of accolades, including ARIA Awards and an MTV Video Music Award.

This Is Acting is the seventh studio album by Australian singer and songwriter Sia. It was released on 29 January 2016 by Inertia, Monkey Puzzle and RCA. Mainly an electropop album, it is mostly composed of songs written by Sia for other female pop artists, but were not included on their albums. Sia described songwriting for others as “play-acting,” hence the title This Is Acting.

The Analysis—-

Birds Set Free—-A wonderful piano intro ushers in a vocal that sounds so much like Rhianna, I double checked the CD in the player. This is ghostly, layered with a sad sound that sucks me in right from the start. This is layered with beautiful melodies and a chorus that just seems to get larger and larger as it goes on. Remarkable for a lady most of us had never heard of 5 years ago. Beautiful.

Alive—-Co written by and for Adele, this was deemed a throw away track by the afore mentioned superstar. A gentle piano opens the track and you can almost hear Adele singing this song on her latest release. Sia sings in a bit of a deeper and soulful voice….reminding me of the brilliance and her scope. This is a fantastic track….and all I can say is shame on Adele…when this chorus hits you…..your heart just screams with sadness and emotion. Fantastic.

One Million Bullets—-Layered with a warm texture that almost has an underlying Country feel to it, this is classic Sia. The slow and low drawl that she uses to deliver her lines is remarkable. The static feel of the song is odd…but when the chorus opens up, you feel your heart melt with the emotional delivery of the song and the lyrics. This is fantastic.

Move Your Body—-Jaunty and full of electro styled beats, this is an odd match for Sia and her vocal…but she makes it work just fine. The chorus is a huge dance floor affair that makes you want to lose control and dance like no one in the world is watching you. This is just brilliant….the dense sound of the bass…the propulsive higher beats…and the lazy drawl of the vocal all come together to create a magnificent perfect storm.

Unstoppable—-With a nice down beat feel to the music, this is Sia at her best….when she seems to give her best Rhianna impersonation. This has heart wrenching melody lines through out the entire song…the music as well as the words make you feel the emotion and the hurt. This is not as empowering as you would expect from the song title…to me, this track is full of hurt and damage. Emotion at it’s best.

Cheap Thrills—-Sia hit No. 1 with this single and I’m sure certain people were sorry that they ‘threw’ this song away. Right from the onset, to me, this had hit written all over it. The beat is Island inspired and full of that beat that inspires you to feel summer heat even here in the dead of winter. This is a remarkable composition….we are better off with the Sia version I’m sure. Wonderful.

Reaper—-With nice electric blips and beeps, the vocal emerges and finds me feeling a bit less than inspired. I just can’t seem to get into the flow of this song, no matter how many times I listen to it. I think the chorus is very strong…but you can’t build a song on that alone…there has to be some give and take with the lines and chorus. I like the delivery…but the feel of the song leaves me a bit empty…..like I’m waiting for something BIGGER….

House On Fire—-Returning to a much friendlier sound for my ears, the down beat feel of the song is marvelous. The chorus of the song is just phenomenal…full on intensity and incredible emotion. I love the way her voice seems to tell a story all on its own at times…this is just a fantastic track…I love the music…..it matches that lazier drawl of hers. This is wonderful!

Footprints—-With a intro that already weeps with emotion, Sia enters with her proper vocal and helps you to crash to the floor in an emotional heap. There is a level of sadness and desperation to this song..like she is pleading with you to listen and to care…this is all brought about from the quality of her vocal. This is just wonderful….I could really hear Beyonce singing this song. And collecting awards for it.

Sweet Design—-This is a bit odd for me…..another Beyonce song I bet!!! This is out of the realm of my Sia possibility. I really do not like this…the breaks are wrong for her voice…the music is wrong for her energy……

Broken Glass—-Falling back in the more familiar territory of her vocal scope and inflection, this is a really great track. The emotion is not just in the lyric…the music makes you feel every word…the swirls of slight orchestration are so large…you might find tears in your eyes by the end of this affair. This is extraordinary.

Space Between—-This is nice…at the onset sounding a bit hollow and uninspired. I would love to hear Sinead sing this song…..the feel is very much familiar to her voice. This track makes my heart ache and my feelings crash to the floor…this is intense…and beautiful. Sia is a true master of her craft.

****3/4 out of 5

 

2 responses to “Sia / This Is Acting

  1. I like the songs she sings and she has a kind heart. She was a coach for one of the singing contest shows, I think the Voice but I watch them all (anyway, she did a great job and gave sound musical advice.)
    My grandchildren love her recent two top ten songs. 🙂 I have to keep up!

    Liked by 1 person

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