Sia, “1000 Forms of Fear”

sia-1000-forms-of-fear

Sia
1000 Forms of Fear
RCA/MONKEYPUZZLE
5/10

Australian pop marvel Sia Furler wrote some of the biggest songs of the past five years, including Beyoncé’s “Pretty Hurts” and Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” but she continues to kick against all preconceived celebrity notions on her sixth album, 1000 Forms of Fear. Case in point: the nonconformist artist recently appeared on the cover of Billboard magazine with a paper bag over her head. Even her intoxicating lead single, “Chandelier,” featured a music video with eleven-year-old Maddie Ziegler (from Dance Moms) donning Furler’s signature blonde bob. All of this anti-promotion aligns fairly well with the boisterous-yet-melancholic tunes on 1000 Forms of Fear. Most of these tracks feel like cutting-room-floor material from past songwriting sessions. On the positive end, the album sees the veteran artist chipping off the self-indulgent genre experiments from the past and focusing on inviolate modern-pop. Unfortunately, tracks such as “Burn the Pages,” “Eye of the Needle,” and “Straight for the Knife” flounder either because of R&B vocal affectations, or tedious self-absorption. “Chandelier,” the dynamic musical diary of an alcoholic, is the rare example of Furler encapsulating the woozy highs and utter lows of being a reluctant pop star.

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