It was either Soren Kierkegaard or Wayne Campbell from WayneÁ¢€â„¢s World who said: Á¢€Å“Once you label me, you negate me.Á¢€ And so it goes with Sia Á¢€” whose latest release, Some People Have Real Problems, was filed in the electronica section of my local record store. SiaÁ¢€â„¢s career veered into the electronica territory when she did some vocals for Zero 7, and her musical contribution to Six Feet UnderÁ¢€â„¢s series finale (Á¢€Å“Breathe MeÁ¢€) demonstrated she can be a rather intense singer.
Flash forward to 2008, and Sia sounds like sheÁ¢€â„¢s ditched electronica to dabble in jazz, show tunes stylings, and straight-ahead pop. The most radio-friendly tunes on Some People Have Real Problems being Á¢€Å“The Girl You Lost to CocaineÁ¢€ (download) and the hidden track at the end of Á¢€Å“Lullaby.Á¢€ Sia even does a cover of the PretendersÁ¢€â„¢ Á¢€Å“I Go to SleepÁ¢€ that is quite lovely — and almost surpasses the original.
Perhaps itÁ¢€â„¢s my penchant for odd songs that made me warm up to Á¢€Å“AcademiaÁ¢€ (download), but I found that the semi-robotic style of Sia’s vocals (with additional vocals by Beck) helped make it one of the strongest cuts on the CD. I donÁ¢€â„¢t quite know how to classify this CD other than to say, that at times it has Á¢€Å“Featured at StarbucksÁ¢€ written all over it. The first five songs are pleasant and thoughtful pop tunes for the furrowed-brow crowd who enjoy sipping coffee combinations at a certain famed coffeehouse behemoth. After Á¢€Å“Academia,Á¢€ however, the songs sound a little less conventional and a little more interesting, with some compositions inviting comparisons to Fiona Apple.
If you still buy CDs, you may find SiaÁ¢€â„¢s Some People Have Real Problems in the electronica section. But get ready for a collection of songs that defy labeling.