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We Are Born
Former Zero 7 chanteuse lightens things up
Eamonn Seoige, 02 Nov 2010
In a past incarnation, Sia Furler’s striking vocals were a defining component in the music of Zero 7. They specialised in a staple dose of sombre, introspective balladry. In more recent times, notably 2008’s Some People Have Real Problems, a new Sia began to emerge, less subdued and armed with a cheery pop sensibility. Certain tracks, particularly ‘Buttons’, were the sign of things to come. Sia was taking a bold step in an unabashed commercial direction.
On the positive side, We Are Born is a well polished record, sonically buffed by production whizz Greg Kurstin’s skilled hand. It’s energetic, full of cheerful beats and can boast clever guitar meanderings, courtesy of Strokes man Nick Valensi. However, many of its thirteen tracks are paper-thin, monotonous pop ditties, with little noteworthy song-craft. There are exceptions, with Sia’s enchanting tones delivering the goods on a memorable ‘You’ve Changed’ and moody ‘Be Good To Me’, although an uninspiring cover of Madonna’s ‘Oh Father’ is something of an odd choice. While attempting to surf the current wave of goodwill towards pop, on this outing, Sia doesn’t quite get there.
KEY TRACK: ‘YOU’VE CHANGED’