- Category: Volume 87 (Fall 2015 - Spring 2016)
- Published: 10 February 2016
- Written by MARIE SOLDO | STAFF WRITER
40-year-old Australian singer-songwriter Sia released her seventh album, This Is Acting, on Jan. 29. Sia is known for her compelling voice and her outstanding abilities as a songwriter, and is most recognized for her hits “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” from her sixth album, 1000 Forms of Fear.
The songs on This Is Acting were originally written by Sia for other artists such as Adele, Katy Perry, Kanye West and Rihanna, but unfortunately, the tracks never made it into production. Sia appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Feb. 2 to talk about the songs on the album which Sia jokingly referred to as rejects. Although they might be “rejects,” there are some incredible songs on this album. On iTunes, the album received 4.5 out of 5 stars after 1,486 ratings.
The first song on the album is called “Bird Set Free.” I enjoy this song because it is about doing what you want and doing what makes you happy regardless of what people think: “And I don’t care if I sing off key, I find myself in my melodies. I sing for love, I sing for me, I shout it out like a bird set free.”
My favorite song off the album is the second track, “Alive.” It is very catchy and Sia’s vocals are absolutely incredible. When I listen to music, I always pay more attention to the lyrics, and I love the lyrics to this song. “I had a one-way ticket to a place where all the demons go, where the wind don’t change and nothing in the ground can ever grow. No hope, just lies, and you’re taught to cry in your pillow, but I’ll survive.” Everyone has their own interpretation of songs, but I interpret this song as getting through rough patches. In life, you come across both good and bad people who may not always be honest with you, but that’s life, and you have to be strong and you’ll survive.
My second favorite song on this album is “Footprints.” When I first heard the song, it really touched me. My dad passed away very suddenly almost two years ago. For as long as I can remember, he had a picture of a beach on his dresser entitled “Footprints in the Sand,” which states that when you see only one set of footprints in the sand, it is then that Jesus carried you, and that is very similar to Sia’s lyrics: “And I saw only two footprints in the sand, thought you’d abandoned me and let go of my hand, but you were carrying me, carrying me to safety, two footprints, your footprints in the sand.”
I like the lyrics to the third song on the album, “One Million Bullets,” but I am not a fan of the tempo. The complete opposite goes for the fourth song on the album, “Move Your Body.” The lyrics are a little too repetitive but the song is very upbeat; it is something I could work out to. After “Move Your Body,” we have “Unstoppable.” I really like the lyrics to this song, such as the line, “Leave my sunglasses on when I shed a tear, it’s never the right time. I put my armor on, show you how strong I am, I’ll put my armor on, I’ll show you that I am.” Just like the lyrics in “Alive,” this song is all about being strong and refusing to let anyone bring you down.
The seventh song on the album, “Reaper,” was co-written by Kanye West. I really like Sia but I can see why this song was a reject. “You came to take me away, so close I was to Heaven’s gates.” And I can see why the eighth song, “House on Fire,” follows “Reaper.” “So take me to the Heavens now, as we burn down, as we are found. Take me to the Heavens now, my heart screams out.”
The tenth song, “Sweet Design,” is awful and it is extremely difficult to catch what exactly Sia is proclaiming. However, Sia turns it back around with the beautiful “Broken Glass,” singing, “This too shall pass, we’re right where we’re meant to be. There’s things I don’t ask, what I don’t know can’t hurt me. I’m not discarding you like broken glass.” I believe this song is about problems in a relationship and the idea that you need to work through them and not just throw the relationship away like you would broken glass.
Lastly, there is “Space Between.” Sia certainly didn’t save the best for last. This song is very slow and dismal.
Currently, Sia’s This Is Acting album is surpassing Rihanna’s new album, Anti, on the charts. Sia’s reject album is proving not to be a reject after all, and maybe next time Rihanna should accept any songs that Sia writes for her.
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