RATE We Are Born:
Sia’s We Are Born is the Swedish Australian (we're still swooning over Robyn, oops!) singer’s poppiest yet, a point hammered home by the lyrics of lead track “The Fight”: “We made it through the darkness to the light. Uh huh, we fought, but still we won the fight.” Unfortunately, it seems that Sia has traded some of her heart for the superficial pop hooks strewn about the album – the book’s cover may look nice, but the story inside just isn’t as engaging.
The main weakness of We Are Born’s is sheer repetition. These songs latch onto a single lyric/melody pair and drive it into the ground. Sia sounds great and the grooves are good enough, but listening through the album’s thirteen songs sounds a bit like listening to thirteen one-minute-long clips on triple repeat. There’s enough content here for a twenty minute EP, but stretched over forty-five it’s a bit tough to get through.
There are moments of brilliance on this record. Sia’s voice rings true on songs like “Be Good To Me” and “You’ve Changed.” “Never Gonna Leave Me” features a great little grace note-laden passage in the middle of a party-starting, uplifting song. “Oh Father” gives Sia the rope she needs to really flex her vocal chords – but again, that tune falls prey to over-repetition. We Are Born is an interesting direction for Sia, and a welcome nod to the direct influence of predecessors like Madonna and Kylie, but this songstress is still finding her feet in a new space. I have complete faith that Sia’s next release will find a niche in rock-tinged dance pop (see “Big Girl Little Girl” and “Stop Trying”) but this one misses the mark. There’s a diamond buried in the rough, but We Are Born ain’t it.
62 — [Rating Scale]