Album Commentary: This is Acting – Sia

(Warning: Little Kid, and if you think that is a joke, it is not, little kids in things creep me out.  I really wish Sia would stop using kids in music videos.)

Okay, just a quick update this week, because I do want to try to keep updating once a week, but things are crazy busy, so I don’t have much brain power.  But!  I have quickly become addicted to this album.  I had heard a few of Sia’s other big songs, of course, but a few weeks ago on my drive into work I caught “Cheap Thrills” on the radio, and I admit it–it was love at first sight (pacé Ben Stevens’ Essential Listening definition of love).

Why I love “Cheap Thrills”–I already discussed this a bit on my birthday playlist, but I love this song because a) you have to love the simple/cheap things in life, b) the rhythm is off the hook.  I dare you to listen to this song and not immediately start dancing, and c) I love the chorus part.  It is not a complicated song.  It does not try to do too much or be too intellectual, and while I do love the deep range of emotions expressed in music, I also love to take it easy sometimes.  This song is just practically perfect pop.

So, when I immediately fall in love with a song, I try to find it and listen to the whole album.  Sometimes, you sadly only love that song and must say goodbye to the album.  But Sia’s “This is Acting” is a winner from start to finish.  I was particularly struck by the title/reasoning behind it–that most of these songs were written and pitched to other artists like Adele (which is TOTALLY clear in “Bird Set Free”).  I have this bias as an audience member that the best music is pure artistic self-expression, and even acknowledging that artistic self-expression can be very crafted to entice the audience and all public figures act to some degree, I’d never really thought of an artist pitching song to others and then “acting” as them.  It was a new way to think about songwriters who mostly/prefer to write for other artists.

All that said, love this album, listening to it a TON.  I started working through more of Sia’s albums, too.  So far they’re all right, but only a few songs have really stuck out.  At this rate, though, I’ll make a best of Sia playlist.  I still need to finish the best of Muse…

So much to listen to, so little time!  But until next weekend, be well!


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