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"We Are Born"

Sia – We Are Born
02 June 2010, 15:00 Written by Gina Louise
Australian singer/songwriter Sia’s latest album ‘We Are Born’ is a personable album, full of me’s and you’s, without so much as an abstract idea to be seen. Okay so that’s not strictly true, but for the most part it is full of straightforward lyrics and simple melodies. This is not to its detriment, and it benefits greatly from her indulgence in uncomplicated, cyclical pop. Of course it’s got the usual Sia elements of soul and jazz in there: you can’t really escape these genres if you own a voice with as much warmth and gusto as she’s got.The opening ‘The Fight’ is entirely comprised of children gabbling in a cheesy Mika-esque fashion; however she soon recovers credibility with the following song and the album’s first single ‘Clap Your Hands’. Though this upbeat little ditty sure is a whole lot of fun, boasting Strokes style guitar work and Bloc Party bass, I’m not sure it would’ve been my first choice for a singles release.In fact, I’m damn sure it wouldn’t have been - I’ve already fallen in love with late comer in the album: ‘Cloud’. This perplexing tune somehow manages to evoke such undeniably strong feelings of childhood memories in me, without being linked to one static moment. Now that’s a talent. ‘Bring Night’ is also a favourite of mine, with some cheerful phatic warbling that only a voice as strong as Sia’s could carry off with dignity.Though her melodies can sometimes be a little unimaginative, she never fails to save face by adding an unsuspected twist in key or tone. The only time the album overtly delves into unfamiliar territory and touches on the deep and meaningful is on the last track ‘Oh Father’, which is seemingly a tale of the cyclical nature of domestic child abuse. Whilst not particularly befitting of the buoyant tone of the preceding tunes it is a rather grand song, though it would perhaps have sat more comfortably on ‘Colour the Small One’.The album is a rather predictable, yet entirely welcome mix of pop, soul and electro, full of catchy Noisettesy hooks and leads. Whilst a couple of her intro’s lend themselves to other influences, such as the Cure-esque ‘Stop Trying’, Sia has a unique playful sound. This is reiterated by children’s vocals, hand clapping and the sound of penny whistles. With a voice you would never affiliate with a skinny white chick from Australia, you can’t help but admire the strength, soul and passion that she pours into her performances.
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