"A simple scan of some song names from the track list will suffice for adjectives describing her current artistic status: Alive, Bird Set Free, Unstoppable."
It's hard to imagine Adelaide singer-songwriter Sia Furler sounding any bigger than she does on her seventh studio album, This Is Acting.
A simple scan of some song names from the tracklist will suffice for adjectives describing her current artistic status: Alive, Bird Set Free, Unstoppable. It's the type of music you might put on while you complete the last items on your bucket list.
American producer Jesse Shatkin and longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin have continued to refine her stadium-ready sound to the point where each song sounds like it could be the encore for an arena show. Verses and consonants are afterthoughts as Sia powers through a seemingly endless scroll of bridges and choruses, with the steady beats of midpoint songs like Cheap Thrills and Reaper providing a welcome respite from the onslaught.
Things get weirder during the second half of the album. Footprints retreads the same hackneyed sentiment as a Leona Lewis track, and Sweet Design is a disorientating hip hop banger that sounds like it was inspired by Sisqo's Thong Song. Broken Glass and Space Between remind everyone this is a Sia record just before things end, with the singer delivering the closest thing to a ballad she's written in a while. It's an emotional rollercoaster, which is nothing less than what you would expect from the superstar at this stage.
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