Verdict: 3.5 / 5
Sia is someone difficult to understand, which immediately makes her more interesting than many others in the Pop music industry of today. With 5 albums released over a multi-decade career, she certainly has had a varied and successful career in her own right, praised on multiple occasions for her innovative style and emotional depth.
But in the years between then and this, the 6th new album, she found rather more commercial success as a writer for other, more mainstream pop artists. Rihanna’s “Diamonds” was hers. So was Flo Rida’s “Wild One.” She’s written for Beyonce. All of this artists and songs have been huge in the last couple of years, and it becomes refreshing to see some of the talent behind those voices step forward to show what they have. And for the first time, Sia has achieved some mainstream success in her own right. But is there still time for her to be recognized in her own right?
If you were to read the lyrics, you would see immediately a lot of talent is present in 1000 Forms of Fear. With a dark, melancholic undertone, this album seems to be Sia facing a lot of her own depression and anxieties in life, and many valuable lessons are given to the listener from her own personal experiences. However, one problem presents itself when you begin to play these tracks. How many of you heard her smash hit Chandelier, and thought that it was Rihanna singing? If you don’t know which one I mean, it was that video with the young girl dancing in a hotel room. Yes, that was Sia, not Rihanna.
The same problem presents itself on the other tracks, Sia has spent so much time floating from artist to artist that she has less of her own unique voice left. For certain, this shows her range, and her abilities are very extensive, but the album sounds like an arrangement of different artists in the same genre rather than a single one in her own right. An artistic choice by Sia, which I approve of personally, to use her own face as little as possible in the promotion of this album for artistic reasons certainly doesn’t help this problem.
Whatever else, Sia has soulful lyrics and a deep honesty that makes her a fine musician. We can only hope she gains even more recognition for herself in the years to come.