After recent succession, with a more popular view now, surely Sia can hopefully replicate what was heard from her previous album, We Are Born? Or will 1000 Forms of Fear truly downplay what we've been hearing all along? Well, 6 songs in and I have no idea what I'm in for.
1000 Forms of Fear is Sia's sixth studio album, which is 4 years since her last studio album. Obviously, this album was made after Sia's overdose, and with a new-found character, she has definitely made a new name for herself after writing songs for other artists (e.g., Diamond for Rihanna). I have praised Sia's vocals in the past, and when she appeared alongside other artists, she was always outshining them on their records. However, on this particular album, everything was just all over the place.
Let's start with the production. It's impressive on the ears when it first hits; the piano chords on Chandelier, Eye of the Needle's drums. Maybe, that's not the considerable problem because on Hostage, it just feels as if reverb took over. The synths in Fair Game is underwhelming and the drums that comes after the bridge is spastic, there is nothing to show for them. The instrumentals are simply bland, lack creativity and doesn't even have the slightest depth to put itself out and place it within comfort of the listener. Well I guess maybe Sia didn't necessarily had this planned considering maybe she's gone for a more lyrical and vocal approach for the album?
Nope. Vocally, the tracks are weak. Chandelier starts off extremely good, but it downplays it's strength by simply removing the cutting edge of it's sword. The chorus, replaced with falsettos, offset Sia's vocal talent and makes her feel as if she's unable to reach the high notes. The solution here would be a very simple answer: she can. That exact moment felt like shortchange; all the build up for a mediocre chorus that simply did not have the slightest bravery to grow, and rather took the safer route of trying not to become too repressive. For those saying maybe she was trying to protect her voice, I get that. If she couldn't sing the notes on the chorus, however, she does pull out some impressive ones on songs like Eye of the Needle, Fire Meet Gasoline and Free The Animal as well, so that is just simply not good enough.
The lyrics don't even show up on songs like Hostage and Burn The Pages. Fire Meet Gasoline, Free The Animal and Elastic Heart featuring The Weeknd and Diplo were easily the best song on the album. Of course, they don't have the best lyrics, but at least the songs were self-aware. The rest of the tracks were simply in disarray.
The tracks that were good had amazing vocals from Sia, while those which were worse, also had weak vocals as well. This album had plenty to show and was let down by the next track once again. It doesn't seem to prove anything, doesn't even seem to try and Sia just feels generally off focus on this album.
Favourite Tracks: Elastic Heart, Free The Animal, Fire Meet Gasoline
Least Favourite Tracks: Chandelier, Hostage, Straight for the Knife
While I wanted to like this album, I was fairly disappointed by the end product. It's a decent album and while there are tracks that aren't that amazing, it's still fairly enjoyable.
Benny Ong: Just your regular guy who likes soccer more than most people, and also a little downtime is pretty nice.