Don’t even pretend you need this review. If you’ve enjoyed Sia’s voice and/or music before, you’ll enjoy this album, and you already know it.
A handful of songs, including album starter Little Black Sandals, feel like comfortable forays into the ticklish territory this quirky artist has travelled before, but when Sia spreads her wings a bit, as on Lentil and Death By Chocolate, she soars.
She can tread that blurry territory between brilliant chanteuse and Starbucks-approved lounge soul vocalist. With all due respect, this latter could be the curse of her gift as Sia Furler and her Zero 7 project inch toward Portishead/Dummy notoriety.
Beck subtly thickens Academia. The Kinks’ I Go To Sleep gets remade into a slow-burning wail strung together by the thin threads of Sia’s immaculate voice. Her control has never been better and Jimmy Hogarth’s production provides the perfect foundation for her deeply delicate expressions. This is the solution to your early 2008 soul music problems.