Sia belts powerful ballads meant for other artists in “This is Acting”

%22This+is+Acting%22+consists+of+songs+Sia+originally+wrote+for+the+likes+of+artists+including+Adele%2C+Rihanna%2C+Shakira%2C+to+name+a+few.

Photo Courtesy of RCA Records

"This is Acting" consists of songs Sia originally wrote for the likes of artists including Adele, Rihanna, Shakira, to name a few.

Due to the bubblegum pop that everyone willingly, or unwillingly, consumes we often forget that music is designed to tell a story. Although all of the songs on the album were written for other artists, Sia still managed to sing every song with emotion and put her personal twist on them. She takes words written for other people, and uses her own experiences to complete the song like an actor in a play. Released on January 29 2016, “This is Acting” definitely tells a story, but the only issue is that every song tells the exact same one.

The best albums will stick to a general theme. Each song should be distinctive and original, but should also follow the general flow of the album. Every one of Sia’s songs on “This is Acting” has a wonderfully inspiring message about self love and perseverance complete with striking vocals that surge forward with intense power, but halfway through the album I forgot what I was listening to. Each song has a similar beat and style, and it became extremely difficult to tell when one song stopped and the next started.

Every one of Sia’s songs on “This is Acting” has a wonderfully inspiring message about self love and perseverance complete with striking vocals that surge forward with intense power.”

— Grace Gyolai

Besides most of the songs being indistinguishable, Sia’s vocals are as stunning as those on her last six albums. Her power and vocal control is completely on display in the second track: Alive. She hits the high notes with surprising strength, but then pulls away allowing the beauty in her voice to become the central focus, not the sheer range she can hit.

One of the few songs on the album that stands out as its own entity is “Move Your Body.” Originally written for Shakira, this song definitely has unique instrumentals and is set apart from the rest of the album due to its upbeat and relaxed message. Most of the other tracks have weight and a deeper meaning, but “Move Your Body” provides a break from the heaviness the album possesses.

Sia is a 40-year-old Australian musician who has been creating music since the late 1990’s, and is definitely an accomplished and talented artist, but I think that by her seventh solo album she should have to created a project with different layers and an increased amount of depth. The individual songs invoked some of my emotions like any good song should, but I was left wanting more. There can only be so many power ballads in a row until the entire mood of the album feels overdone and annoyingly theatrical.

“This is Acting” is not a step in the wrong direction for Sia, but it isn’t a step forward. I expected a little bit more from an artist who has proven through her controversial and progressive music videos that she has true creative potential. I would definitely recommend listening to Sia’s new album on YouTube, but I would not pay $9.99 on iTunes.