Sia - 'This is Acting' Album Review
Sia is the epitome of why we shouldn’t give up on ‘mainstream’ music just yet.
After writing countless songs for artists such as Jessie J, Britney Spears and Beyoncé as well as working her way through five studio albums under her own name, Sia finally got the limelight she deserved with her sixth album ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ which proved massively popular worldwide and gave us the multiplatinum singles ‘Elastic Heart’ and ‘Chandelier’.
Over the past few months, fans were drip fed the occasional new song showcasing the cream of the new album. And after its brilliant predecessor, I was on the edge of my seat waiting for Sia’s seventh album ‘This is Acting’.
The title’s origin is stated to be indicative of the type of songs Sia wanted featured on the album, being more about “play acting” other people’s lives rather than her own, which is a departure from the very personal themes of ‘1000 Forms of Fear’.
And herein lies the conundrum of ‘This is Acting’, it’s both more of the same yet different.
Hold on, let me explain…
Firstly, the promotion for the new album included a familiarly beautiful music video alongside the single ‘Alive’, by far one of the stand out tracks.
Featuring a young martial artist showcasing their art in a beautifully choreographed demonstration which is indicative, although not quite as powerful as, the videos for ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ featuring Maddie Ziegler.
In addition to ‘Alive’, tracks such as the epic declaration of the opener ‘Bird Set Free’ make up a solid base of great songs which encapsulate her unique vocal style, flowing verses and potent choruses.
But then you get tracks like ‘Sweet Desire’ and ‘Cheap Thrills’ which feel well…cheap, and far staler than the kinds of offerings I’ve come to expect from the artist.
This may be at least partly explained by the fact that several of the songs were written and then rejected by artists such as Adele and Beyoncé. Ignoring for a moment the fact that Beyoncé has inexplicably released far more cring-worthy tracks, the fact that most of the songs featured on “This is Acting” could be described as scraps should be ringing alarm bells. To be fair on Sia however, even the weakest songs on the new album are far better than a lot of songs released by other pop artists, and each and every track has her trademark vocal effort poured into it just the same.
All in all, the album maintains Sia’s reputation as a beacon of on hope amongst the endless manufactured drivel the pop music scene tends to generate. However, while the high points are high the lows are also unmistakably present, which automatically places it in the shadow of its predecessor with its consistent heights and more personal material.
Spotlight rating: 3.5 out of 5 spotlights
Written By Jordan Davidson