Album Reviews

Album Review: Sia – We Are Born (Sony/RCA)

By | Published on Tuesday 1 June 2010


‘We Are Born’ is the fourth album from Australian singer-songwriter Sia, two years off of the heels of the mixed-reviewed ‘Some People Have Real Problems’. Produced by Greg Kurstin, who has worked with the likes of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers and Beck, it is a sharply crafted record with a tight, uplifting sound.

Sia’s music is, like her artwork and the ways that she portrays herself as an artist, colourful and rich. At once she is the playful pop of Feist, the flightiness of Bjork, the sincerity of Charlotte Gainsbourg and the charm and emotion of Tori Amos, and she never quite manages to shake off the drowsy haziness of her collaborations with acid-jazz trip-hoppers Zero 7. Her voice is husky and not exactly absolute – it has layers that can sometimes pleasantly waver as well as soar.

Album opener ‘The Fight’ starts with children’s chants and a bassline that is incredibly reminiscent of the likes of MIA and CSS, and this calypso of sound runs through the entire album; is this the influence of girlfriend JD Samson of MEN/Le Tigre fame? ‘Bring Night’ and ‘Big Girl Little Girl’ are both really fun additions, and the only song with a trace of familiar down-tempo chillout is the last track ‘Oh Father’, which even brims with too much emotion for that.

‘We Are Born’ is, without a doubt, one of the best albums I’ve heard all year, and it may be too early to say this yet, but it’s inching closer and closer to my top ten of 2010. Gorgeous stuff. TW

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