Some People Have Real Problems
Record Review by Amber Henson
I started watching Conan when he came back on the air during the writer’s strike. Why? I don’t know, seemed like a good time to renew my worship of the man. So at 1:25 in the morning a couple weeks ago, Sia comes on. I couldn’t stop watching her. Performing “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine”, she was so enigmatic in her short polka dot dress, heels, and men’s sport coat. She has a blond bob haircut, and she sung softly, even though you could tell that she was fully capable of belting it.
This was my introduction to Sia [for many others, it was her song “Breathe Me,” which played over the final scene of Six Feet Under, or her vocal contributions to Zero 7]. And I have to say, upon, listening to her CD, it’s her versatility that intrigues me most. The album starts with “Little Black Sandals,” where her voice recalls Amy Winehouse and Fiona Apple, with an accent that seems out of place with her Australian roots, sort of like how Jewel sometimes sings in a southern twang despite her Alaskan childhood.
Track four, “You Have Been Loved,” has the soft voice that Alanis Morissette used to employ in her first album. Sia is prone to those all over the place “ah ahs” that are often overused by American Idol contestants and the like, but she gets away with it. The following track, the one she performed on Conan, “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine,” is intensely addictive and heartfelt. “No, I don’t need drama” she effusively and loudly sings over the chorus is a refreshing sentiment in the current music industry. And the following track, “Academia,” is a song about numbers, and as such, steals my heart. The album as whole is extremely well produced.
Sia’s cutesy, indie look doesn’t equal her sometimes soft, always smart sound, and perhaps that’s what makes us stare in wonder. Wow! Original! Don’t see that much anymore! Everyone puts up with Amy Winehouse’s shenanigans because of her raw talent. But here is a woman who, so far, has kept herself out of trouble. Here’s hoping that there’s enough room in the American market for a lovely blond Australian with an addictive voice.
Sia - We Are Born
More by this writer:
The Thrills - Teenager
Jeremy Messersmith - The Alcatraz Kid
Rio en Medio - Bride of Dynamite
The Hourly Radio - History Will Never Hold Me