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Single Review: Sia – Chandelier

Sia has always been amazing, it’s just taken the regular folk a little longer to realise it. Granted, David Guetta brought her through her metamorphosis into fully-fledged pop royalty, but even before ‘Titanium’, Sia Furler turned everything she touched to gold. The introverted beauty of ‘Colour The Small One’ and ‘Some People Have Real Problems’ presented an expert songwriter that, as evidenced on ‘We Are Born’, has journeyed closer and closer to carefree and liberating pop. There isn’t a problem with that, though – not when Sia produces forward-thinking music and churns out finely crafted hits with apparent ease. ‘Chandelier’ marks her return as a solo artist and it is magnificent and triumphant, made all the sweeter by the fact that the acclaim and attention this pop genius is receiving has been a long time coming.

I have thus far managed to avoid mentioning Sia’s signature touch – her voice. It is strong and weak at the same time – check out the chorus of ‘Chandelier’ for proof of my grand contradiction – whilst she can stretch to the high notes, she has no interest in shaping out her voice into a perfect, rounded element. It has rasps and it’s husky – it breaks and sounds strained and, before I lose your interest, it works. It really does. This song wouldn’t be as powerful with your everyday diva hammering it out. Sia brings a frailty that, even at her soaring heights, grounds the epic tune in reality. If this isn’t enough – the drama of the instrumental is intensely gorgeous. It feels like a power ballad given a kick up the rear – all fierce drums, chilly atmospherics and subtle keys swelling into one beast of a single.

It’s a phrase you’ll hear a lot in regards to this song, but Sia really has saved one of her best compositions for herself. It’s no secret that the lady herself would love a life out of the spotlight – she’s said so numerous times and that’s what is so astounding about the woman that has practically written every smash of the last year – she manages it. She gives enough of herself to make the songs believable and human but she never underestimates the power of pop. It doesn’t really matter what you’re singing and it doesn’t really matter what the message is if there isn’t an earth-shattering hook behind it. ‘Chandelier’ has that hook and a set of lyrics that are masterfully quotable. (‘Party girls don’t get hurt’, anybody?)You’ve got to hand it to the woman, pretty brave to fob the mighty Beyonce off with the amazing ‘Pretty Hurts’ when she had the even-more-amazing ‘Chandelier’ locked in a drawer that Britney is still, at this very moment, trying to break into.

Photo: Sia’s Facebook
Words: Simon McMurdo

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