It was either Soren Kierkegaard or Wayne Campbell from Wayne’s World who said: “Once you label me, you negate me.” And so it goes with Sia – whose latest release, Some People Have Real Problems, was filed in the electronica section of my local record store. Sia’s career veered into the electronica territory when she did some vocals for Zero 7, and her musical contribution to Six Feet Under’s series finale (“Breathe Me”) demonstrated she can be a rather intense singer.

Flash forward to 2008, and Sia sounds like she’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 “The Girl You Lost to Cocaine” (download) and the hidden track at the end of “Lullaby.” Sia even does a cover of the Pretenders’ “I Go to Sleep” that is quite lovely — and almost surpasses the original.

Perhaps it’s my penchant for odd songs that made me warm up to “Academia” (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 don’t quite know how to classify this CD other than to say, that at times it has “Featured at Starbucks” 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 “Academia,” 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 Sia’s Some People Have Real Problems in the electronica section. But get ready for a collection of songs that defy labeling.

About the Author

Ted Asregadoo

Writer & Editor

Ted Asregadoo has a last name that's proven to be difficult to pronounce for almost everyone on the Popdose staff, some telemarketers, and even his close friends. He lives in Walnut Creek, CA. Oh, and FYI, Asregadoo is pronounced As-ree-gah-du.

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