1000 Forms Of Fear was never meant to get the amount of hype it did. In a rejection of typical marketing, Sia decided she would let her music speak for itself. A fitting approach, given she has been writing some of the most popular songs of the past five years for giants like Beyonce and Rihanna. Instead, Sia would perform her songs, but would not show her face.
The album itself is easily the strongest pop album of the last few years. It flows like a traditional long form pop record, but unlike other ‘pop-stars’ who buck albums in favour of singles, the record is a fully formed and beautifully assembled LP. A lurching, powerful feat of musicianship in the form of Sia’s absolute smash Chandelier is the opening track that sees Sia put on a Rihanna drawl before launching into a chorus that knows no limits. The following three songs are as empowering and epic. As if in response to the Fergie hit of a similar name, Big Girls Cry takes the listener into a clichéd embrace, underpinned with traditional pop production. Sia’s incredible range is shown off on the following few songs; with Eye Of The Needle acting as the natural counterbalance to the following pop-rock jam Hostage.
The real treat is found eight tracks in, on Elastic Heart. The track originally featured The Weeknd for the Hunger Games Soundtrack. On the album version, Sia does away with The Weeknd’s verse and takes on the gymnastic song in its entirety. As the album progresses to its conclusion, Sia displays lyrical maturity and a more reserved form of song writing on Fire Meet Gasoline and the epic 6 minute closer Dressed In Black.
If anything, 1000 Forms Of Fear shows just how good pop music can be. Even though the album is essentially mainstream, Sia manages to push the envelope sonically. Whether that is thanks to her incredible voice, or the fact that she is genuinely making sounds not heard in the mainstream sphere, I am unsure. What I do know, is that Sia is one goddamn good writer.