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MUSIC REVIEW: Sia battles her inner demons on 1000 Forms of Fear

In recent years, there has been one pop star that has remained consistent at cranking out some of the biggest radio hits, and still kept a low profile doing it. No, I’m not talking about Beyoncé. This isn’t about Britney. And it surely isn’t about Rihanna. It’s Australian-born singer/songwriter Sia Furler, who has helped pen shiny radio hits for all of the above. On Tuesday, July 8, the woman who doesn’t want to indulge in any facets of fame will release her sixth studio album 1000 Forms of Fear, and prove exactly why she’s the driving force behind the scenes for others and at the forefront of her very own career.

1000 Forms of Fear opens with lead single “Chandelier,” a reggae-tinged, pop ballad, where Sia’s soaring voice takes on the endless, weary lifestyle of a party girl. “I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier/ I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist/ Like it doesn’t exist,” she belts fearlessly on the celebratory, self-destructive tune. It might seem all fun and games, but after taking Sia’s past with drugs and alcoholism into consideration, there might be a deeper meaning to “Chandelier.” And it’s just one of the many gems from the project, where the 38-year-old embraces honest songwriting, strong melodies and distinct (and textured) vocals to create a 12-track LP.

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Even though she may walk a thin line of misguided and unfortunate territory, it isn’t always necessarily a dangerous area to roam. Just like us, Sia can be quite the strong-headed individual, herself. While she keeps a strong front in front of an ex-lover on “Eye of the Needle” (“You’re locked inside my heart/ And your melody’s an art”), she’s also painfully aware of the treacherous path her heart needs to take to find love. Over a trippy, looped mesh of drums and vocals on “Elastic Heart,” Sia — collaborating with Diplo and Greg Kurstin — is surprisingly blunt when she sings of a relationship gone bad. “I wanted it bad/ But there were so many red flags/ Now another one bites the dust/ Yeah, let’s be clear, I’ll trust no one,” she croons. And if you ever need a friend, Sia might just be your go-to girl, as heard on “Burn the Pages,” where she reassured a friend that they’ll be OK even if they are shedding a few post-relationship tears.

“Big Girls Cry” is another example of Sia’s ability to tap into tormenting lyrics — particularly about a broken heart — and make it sound appealing on all levels. It’s really just one of Sia’s secret weapons. She’s able to draw in both the young and old audience with just the use of voice. Imagine that.

You can listen to 1000 Forms of Fear Tuesday, July 8.

Are you buying a copy of 1000 Forms of Fear? Tell us in the comments below.

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