Sia '1000 Forms Of Fear' Review: A Playful Addition To Sia's Repertoire
In 2010, Sia released her fifth studio album We Are Born, which marked a dramatic turn in her style of music; it was uplifting and shameless fun, influenced by playful memories of her childhood. Sia turns things around again with her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. She maintains her playful spirit, but with a little more of a kick and a lot more surprises.
A characteristic I really enjoy about Sia’s music is her voice. She sounds beautiful, of course, but it's the way she slurs her words that truly stands out. It’s unclear if she does it intentionally, but it appears that she is somewhat selective on which words she slurs. Whether it’s purposeful or not, it’s a nice touch that make her otherwise predictable pop music unique to her own style, acting as her signature. Her music videos are also spectacles, such the video to “Chandelier,” which features a young Maddie Ziegler from Dance Moms performing a modern dance number that is visually striking and heart pounding.
“Chandelier” is, unsurprisingly the opener to the album (it achieved #20 on Billboard's Hot 100.) Its uppity beat and racing synths already provide a contrast from Sia’s past work. What follows is a string of momentous, electric ballads — great rave music. The problem is that it’s a recurring sound experience that gets old fast, especially once you reach “Burn the Pages,” and can make for a bad first impression. Thankfully Sia shakes things up with “Straight for the Knife,” a song that strikes up a darker mood which is a very welcomed tone to the repertoire.
But what is 1000 Forms of Fear about exactly? It seems Sia wants to linger on the subject of love with songs like “Big Girls Cry,” where she sings about heartbreak. But she isn’t always the victim here. She admits she doesn’t necessarily play fair in “Fair Game,” where her voice is accompanied by a cutesy toy piano that masks her malevolent facade used to confront her fears.
1000 Forms of Fear is playful, loud, artful, and violent (sometimes all at once!). Sia has once again created an unforgettable repertoire of music that one cannot disassociate from her musicianship and it’s pop tunes make it an experience for everyone to enjoy.