When Sia re-emerged as a recording artist with 1000 Forms Of Fear in 2014 it was one of the highest selling albums of that year; now she is one of the most renowned hit makers/songwriters/producers in pop music. Not every song she writes gets picked up however; her new album This Is Acting is basically a handful that never made the cut for stars like Rihanna and Adele, among others.
Lead single Alive is an explosive pop anthem currently a staple on playlists around the world. Sia sings at the top of her lungs and once again nails an incredible pop delivery. Sia has made these pop ‘rejects’ shine, so don’t be discouraged before diving into this new collection. Take Cheap Thrills: any seasoned Sia fan would know that this catchy dance floor tune is not the singer’s usual niche, but the track is so catchy that that is quickly forgotten.
Sia seemingly channels Beyoncé with Sweet Design; the fast paced and confident number fills the air with its addictive melody and infectious quality. Bird Set Free is a little more like the Sia that we know outside of her international collaborative work; heavy with meaningful lyrics and an empowering vocal. The easy-going Reaper is a collaboration with Kanye West and once intended for Rihanna; written about a close brush with death, despite the morbid theme the track is a memorable inclusion to This Is Acting and one that allows Sia’s songwriting skills to shine.
The slow and emotional Space Between lessens some of the album’s pop repetitiveness while the powerful Unstoppable oozes with confidence in its lyrics and full throttle arrangement.
This Is Acting is Sia’s most pop driven album to date, but when you listen to the tracks that she has been releasing over the past few years as her career has flourished, it’s not a surprise at all. You can’t forget Sia sang these songs from the perspective of other pop artists, so the intention was to stray from her original quirk. Each track was intended to be radio ready and with that intention the upbeat numbers do tend to be a little repetitive. All is forgiven though as This Is Acting’s diversity – both lyrically and instrumentally – further positions Sia as one of music’s finest modern pop figures.