Sia ‘This Is Acting’
Following on from the career revival that ‘1000 Forms Of Fear’ brought her, Sia has released another album which instead features tracks she had previously written for other artists such as Adele, Rihanna, and Beyoncé but were rejected in lieu of other tracks. Starting with a track titled ‘Bird Set Free’ which Sia originally wrote to be the core song of the film Pitch Perfect 2, ‘Bird Set Free’ mainly features a more classic approach to music alongside tracks such as ‘Alive’ and ‘House On Fire’. All of which showcase Sia’s wide vocal range as she projects her voice for the choruses and typical long notes any singer uses.
1. Bird Set Free
3. One Million Bullets
4. Move Your Body
6. Cheap Thrills
8. House On Fire
10. Sweet Design
11. Broken Glass
12. Space Between
The mood of the album changes with the track ‘Move Your Body’ as the track is much more of a dance number, sounding like an energised and consistent version of Sia’s track with David Guetta and Fetty Wap, ‘Bang My Head’. The track was originally intended for Shakira which Sia sometime blends her own voice into similar tones of the Latin singer which adds to the many talents of the artist. The album then gives us ‘Unstoppable’ which is so very similar to ‘Chandelier’ it only need a video of Dance Moms’ Maddie Zeigler dancing in the new half blonde half black wig to hit the same kind of success its predecessor had.
One track originally intended for Rihanna is that of ‘Cheap Thrills’ which houses many iconic moments reminiscent of RiRi’s style. However with the change to her most recent style for the new art album ANTI Rihanna probably wanted to shy away from anything that wasn’t ‘high class’ and as the title suggests this track didn’t fit the mix. Sia gives the track her own twist and whilst it would have fit the bill for Rihanna’s voice, the accompaniment is obviously specifically arranged for Sia. Which does leave a listener wondering how these songs would have sounded had the artists they were originally intended for actually used the tracks.
‘Reaper’ is perhaps one of the best tracks on the album, again written for Rihanna but in collaboration with Kanye West who also helped produce the track for Sia. It is perhaps one of the only tracks on that sounds as if it was purposefully written and arranged for Sia’s voice and style. The quirkiness closely tied to Sia’s style and image comes from the backing track which seems to be partly made up on morse code bleeps as Sia goes into full swing with her vocal runs at the end of ever chorus line.
And the award for weirdest track goes to ‘Sweet Design’ which oddly enough starts far out of Sia’s typical styling and usual type of song. Considering lyrics such as “Thong, th-thong, thong, thong, Word travels fast, When you’ve got an ass like mine, Sweet design” it isn’t hard to believe this song was originally written for Beyoncé and the songs arrangement is very comparable to her time with Destiny’s Child ‘Bootylicious’ and her earlier solo work such as ‘Crazy In Love’. Sia usually remains quite humble about her assets so it isn’t hard to image this track was intended for another artist and adds to how odd this track is despite the albums concept.
Overall the album is a well-crafted and is definitely worth listening to as it showcases the usually hidden side of the music industry, that of the songwriters and producers. And Sia has managed to write supposed hit after hit with this album it does beg the question what the original artists would have done with the tracks had they not rejected them.
Highlights: Move Your Body, Unstoppable, Reaper
Author: Pierce Brosnan