In today's average music atmosphere, most music follows a certain formula, especially in pop music. As time progresses, the pop stratosphere becomes ever more saturated with bland progressions and predictable hooks.
Then there's Sia. After having limited success in prior efforts, she decided to give up the limelight and take a backseat to focus on songwriting instead (hey, it's definitely more profitable). After 'Chandelier' got turned down by artists like Rihanna, Sia decided she had to take the lead. And thus, a star was born.
Backstory aside, this album is definitely one of the more untraditional pop albums released in 2014 that received commercial success. Everyone has heard the anthemic and rebellious chorus of 'Chandelier' and the confidence in 'Elastic Heart' by now. The other tracks that have not seen the limelight do not fall short of the excellence that Sia has displayed with her popular tracks, however. Each song has a purpose that creates an almost storyboard-like collection of tracks. 'Big Girls Cry' is a confessional that immediately follows the rebellion of 'Chandelier,' revealing the softer, innocent side of a confident singer. 'Hostage' speaks of a love story, and 'Cellophane' of a time when Sia felt like she could end it all. Going into this album is like beginning a good book, beginning strong and ending one a relatable note.
Lyrically, this album is just short of a masterpiece. It does not fail structurally and instrumentally, either. Haunting synths and brooding melodies keep each track original and captivating. Most strikingly is the closure track of the album, 'Dressed In Black.' Not only is it daring in the regards that a pop song is almost seven minutes long, but the mood behind it is just so enchanting and dark that it begs for your attention.
All in all, this album is one of the best, if not THE best pop album of 2014. Gems such as this rarely find their way to the top, and Sia is a diamond in the rough. If you enjoy the anthem that is 'Chandelier' or the confident ballad of 'Elastic Heart,' definitely check this album out. A story is told that everyone can relate to in some regard.
Favorite Tracks: Chandelier, Hostage, Dressed In Black
Least Favorite Track: Free The Animal