Top positive review
131 people found this helpful
on 7 July 2014
Sia has had an unconventional trajectory. Diagnosed with Graves disease, boyfriend killed in a car accident, addiction to drugs and alcohol, attempted suicide. Plus, she hates fame so much that she poses with a paper bag over her head, and performs with her back facing audiences. Responsible for a plethora of international smashes for some of pop's biggest names, and while working on many other projects, there was still time to produce an own record. As the title and cover art might reveal, Sia goes back to her darker side for this, her 6th studio album, spiralling into destructive depths of weakness, vulnerability, desperation and struggles, all returning points for her.
Longtime fans know what to expect from her, new followers are probably curious to learn about the person behind the colossal hits. Perhaps all too aware of what the public wants from her, Sia gives the public exactly what they want. She offers strong and well-produced pop ballads, some uptempo tracks, and the occasional slower numbers, all accompanied with her unique and always impressive voice, the sound of someone singing for their life. She is dabbling with pop, experimenting once again with indie pop, electronica, acid jazz, soul, dance, and trip-hop. Produced by Lily Allen's former collaborator Greg Kurstin, they have sculpted a beautiful masterpiece of an album.
Her enrapturing talent and torment shines throughout "1000 Forms of fear"'s 49 minutes. Very often I found myself paying more attention to the lyric metaphors and the dramatic vocals, rather than enjoying the songs. Sia has a certain vibe in her music which, although it cannot be missed, it tends to overshadow the sonic excellence of this album. First single, "Chandelier" is indicative: a gorgeously reggae-electronica fused number about a never ending party life, with Sia's titanic voice bursting open the chorus like a cannonball; a closer reading between the lines makes clear that it is a song about alcoholism. It is obvious that the artist writes genius texts, this is her biggest talent, combined with her distinctive voice.
Built around sterling melodies, standouts "Big girls cry", "Straight to the knife", "Elastic heart", "Fire meet gasoline", "Cellophane", and "Dressed in black", they convey emotion that is unmatched by any other contemporary artist. Despite her personal hardship, Sia is able to produce exceptional power balladry and intelligent lyricism. "1000 Forms of fear" rings true to its dramatic title. It is a consistent, brilliant, deep pop record, by one of pop's best artists. After producing so many hits over the years, perhaps one's fear would be Sia's transformation into an mainstream artist. As long as she insists on performing wearing that paper back on her head, there is absolutely no fear of that happening.