What does Aussie singer/songwriter Sia Furler have to fear? She has the fame, the talent and the know how; but she is also a human being, and the stresses and anxieties that accompany life can take their toll. Since the unintentional success with David Guetta’s Titanium, Sia has become a ‘one woman hit factory’; she has since penned tracks for international chart toppers such as Flo Rida, Rihanna, Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. Sia first tasted success with her ballad Breathe Me in 2004, ten years later and at the age of 38 you could say she is finally getting the appreciation/recognition she deserves; but now the singer won’t embrace the fame thrust upon her shoulders, facing the wall as she performs and donning her peers in blonde wigs. Focusing purely on the music, Sia returns with the highly anticipated 1000 Forms Of Fear, her sixth studio album.
You couldn’t ask for a better career comeback than the power pop anthem Chandelier; steady but surely after its official release in March it topped charts internationally and combines mainstream pop music with Sia’s immense and powerful vocal range. Big Girls Cry is a deep and meaningful track mastering the emotion felt by somebody experiencing severe depression, yet their life is high in motion; we are treated to a bit of the Sia we loved during the We Are Born era, the energetic Burn The Pages is this magical dose of pop combining whacky melodies with a killer chorus. The tender power ballad Eye of the Needle is sung with such powerful emotion that you hang onto every lyric. Sia gets held Hostage by an intense love, yet another boppy and fun track; Straight For The Knife is this strange ballad where a desperate Sia sings about this sinister lover putting a threat to her life.
The poetic Fair Game has a simple sound, allowing for the lyrical ramble to flow and tell us about how the singer is prepared to let love in despite her previous life history. Last year Elastic Heart was featured on the soundtrack for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire; now an inclusion on the album, the Diplo-produced track now features Sia singing the complete song without The Weekend, which makes the power pop track more special and somewhat complete. You’re not so sure whether you should be smiling or be worried for Sia’s lover as she loves him to death in Free The Animal, on its way out the chorus glitches with perfection. The power pop continues with the catchy Fire Meet Gasoline, continuing to show off her vocal powerhouse and lyrical know-how. Sia’s genial use of metaphors is evident in many of the songs of the album, but is prevalent through the veins of Cellophane, the line sung in the emotional chorus “Can’t you see I’m wrapped in cellophane” is an expression of the suffocation caused by deep depression. Sia has that special someone to be grateful for, Dressed In Black is yet another emotive song where somebody close picked up the pieces that life had left her in and how they had set her free.
1000 Forms Of Fear is an emotional piece of art, there is no holding back lyrically or melodically for Sia. Greg Kurstin has handled the production of this record with exquisite care, pop music is something he has a mastery for; Sia and himself are a perfect musical match. During a radio interview with Howard Stern, Sia noted that she only keeps the songs she feels a personal connection with rather than give them away to the Furler-hungry stars, which is evident in every song on this new record. We hear Sia in this new pop direction yet we are still experiencing the same artist. Pop music didn’t shape the singer, the singer is currently reshaping pop music; there is nothing to be afraid of when it comes to 1000 Forms Of Fear.