By Jack Richardson
After massive success and deserved recognition Sia’s sixth studio album ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ debuted number 1 in the US.
Sia is diving back into the spotlight with her new album; but when I say diving I mean falling into a flaming pit.
One of the reasons for ‘1000 Forms of Fear’s’ success was how interesting each song was, after translating the lyrics into an understandable version of the English language rather than the strange vocal dialect connecting every word without a single pause, they all told a story.
Each song sounded personal and a track in its own right, but when put together it all felt linked.
Transitioning into ‘This is Acting’ is like spending a night at the Ritz, followed by a night at a Premier Inn, it is still nice, but it is not on the same level.
Unfortunately the most interesting thing about this album is the concept, but a concept does not make a number one album.
Sia is an Australian singer-songwriter that has written hits for stars such as Beyonce, Rihanna and Katy Perry, however not all the songs she writes are picked up by these artists.
This album is made up of all the songs that fall into that category.
Only one song was written for the album, ‘One Million Bullets’, and you can tell.
It feels like it belongs on the album, and has a strong identity in itself.
It is one of the only songs on the album that I believe reflects the true emotion of her previous work, falling short of the high hopes I held for the record.
The worst thing about ‘This is Acting’ is that it is not a bad album, each song on here is written and produced well, but it is more like Sia is trying to fit into a suit tailor made for Beyonce.
These songs have been written for other artists and it feels apparent when listening to most tracks.
There is no longer the emotional connection between the artist and the audience.
This may be because each song on the album seems as if it was written to be a hit, to get the artist it is written for to number one, but in an album full of hits nothing stands out unless it is for a bad reason.
Some tracks are so far from her style it harms the album as a holistic piece of work.
You can hear Sia’s writing style and you can hear her distinctive voice, but it is tainted by the mark of other artists.
After playing the album all the way through you can feel as if you’re on a rollercoaster riding through niches that just don’t fit together.
For example you go from the previously mentioned romantic song ‘One Million Bullets’ to the horrific club song ‘Move your Body’.
‘This is acting’ leaves you feeling like you’ve experienced whiplash without the compensation and 6 months off work.
On the other hand I am not condemning this album to the pits of hell in which it reminds me, as there still remains a topic unmentioned, ‘The SIA effect’.
I coined the term ‘the Sia effect’ to describe my experience with her 6th studio album (1000 Forms of Fear).
I begun listening to tracks and I either loved them or hated them, somewhat like marmite.
However time passed and like a repressed memory, ‘Dressed in Black,’ and ‘Celophane’ would creep into my subconscious and fight their way to the front of my brain until I could do nothing but listen to them.
I now enjoy the whole of ‘1000 Forms of Fear’ and would place it in my top 5 albums due to ‘the Sia effect’.
So give me 6 months and who knows, I may be able to bear the second hand, soundtrack resembling misfitting hand-me-downs from your older siblings.