Album Review: 1000 Forms of Fear

Sia is no stranger to making music for others and as an artist, but I have fallen in love with her music since hearing ‘Chandelier’. It is more than just my favorite song of 2014, but one of my favorites of all time and the video especially sealed the deal (CLICK HERE for my review of ‘Chandelier). I am engrossed with not just her music, but her personality. Well since her popular trek of writing for the stars she’s back with an album of her own titled, 1000 Forms of Fear. 

The album features twelve tracks and is available anywhere you can imagine: iTunes, Amazon, Target, Walmart, etc. Amazon sells it for the cheeps for $3.99. Be sure to click the links for the other prices. Now let’s get into the TRACK BY TRACK.

  1. ‘Chandelier’: There’s no need for me to continuously rave about how amazing this song is. It should be getting more airplay than it does. It’s just over three and a half minutes and in those three and half minutes she’s really not saying much of anything. Her story is brief, but you can hear the message. The solidity of the song came in the visual. I’m the one “for a good time call” Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell. I feel the love, feel the love. She’s an awesome storyteller.
  2. Big Girls Cry’: When I first heard this song I fell in love with it. The first six seconds reminded me of JoJo’s, ‘Leave (Get Out)’ and the title was the opposite of Fergie’s smash, ‘Big Girls Don’t Cry.’ The song contrasts the lyrics of ‘Chandelier as the story goes on of never getting that phone call and people only seeming to call when they want something. I’m at home / On my own / Check my phone / Nothing, though / Act busy / Order in / Pay TV / It’s agony
  3. ‘Burn The Pages’: This song picks up pace from the previous two and I am the ultimate sucker for a good beat. Yesterday’s gone and you will be ok / Place your past into a book / Burn the pages, let ’em cook. Based off the message of the other two tracks this one is metaphorically explains the emotions of the tears being bottled up inside [You’re dark gray like a storm cloud that’s swelling up with rain that is desperate to be let out], but it’s ok to let it go. It’s more so of burning the bridge and moving on. I love her metaphors, very clever.
  4. ‘Eye of The Needle’: She slows it back down with this track. It may seem that she’s left the pain behind, but this one is for that relationship that you try to act as if everything is ok when it really isn’t. Tears fall to the beat / Smile through pain / Feel the acid rain. I cannot get over how clever she describes tears. And you’re locked inside my heart / And your melody’s an art. This is one of the most beautiful on the entire album.
  5. ‘Hostage’: This song is very more rock star than her previous four. This song is like the opposite of ‘Eye of The Needle’. In ‘Eye of the Needle’ it’s somberly explaining how she’s in this relationship bottling everything up and on this upbeat track she builds on that and goes back to her formula of the one word ‘hostage.’ Put me in cuffs, lock me up / I’m held hostage by your touch / This prison is rough but I can’t get enough. Very nice.
  6. ‘Straight for the Knife’: This track ties into that of ‘Eye of the Needle’ and ‘Hostage’ effortlessly and is more so similar to ‘Hostage’ except with a more sullen beat. Boy, you draw me back in
    I’m hungry for your bad loving. She’s stuck in this relationship and he’s stabbing her with his lies and she just keeps taking it all in. But will someone find me swinging from the rafters / From hanging on your every word. Sometimes that happens in ‘love’. You’re so deep in it that you can’t do not want to look past all the clues. It’s like a drug that keeps luring you in.
  7. ‘Fair Game’: Next to ‘Chandelier’ this one is definitely one of my favorites. Aside from the previous three this one is on to a new love and she’s met her match, hence ‘fair game’. And I’ve never played a fair game/ I’ve always had the upper hand. Throughout the song she talks about she’s always had the emotions under control, but from the previous tracks it doesn’t really seem that way. In this one she’s not trying to face her past, but he’s bringing out all these emotions within her that makes realize that she’s met her match. Let the game begin. It’s really what she always wanted.
  8. ‘Elastic Heart’: Out of the eleven other tracks, this is the only one to have a feature that is not mentioned in the track listing. The Weeknd comes in mid song. I’ve got thick skin and an elastic heart. It might have seemed like she met her match in ‘Fair Game’, but no that’s not the case. This time around regardless of what a guy does to her from now on she’ll bounce back. Her heart will magically brush off all the pain, but then again of course it will being that she no longer trusts men.
  9. ‘Free The Animal’: As soon as I heard the beat I instantly thought radio hit. It definitely has that Top 40 vibe. She wants to be detonated, granulated, decapitated, and emancipated. It’s cool if you don’t know what all that means as she gives an example after each word. I kept trying to figure out what the hell this song meant, but after listening again it’s a HUGE sexual innuendo. He can have all of her and vice versa. Very, very clever. Read the lyrics along with the song FOR SURE on this one.
  10. ‘Fire Meet Gasoline’: This song is similar to the concept of ‘Free The Animal’ except the beat has slowed down and this is more sensual than hardcore. Fire meet gasoline / I’m burning alive / I can barely breathe / When you’re here loving me. Between the two it’s hard to choose because it shows to different sides. Great contrast between the two.
  11. ‘Cellophane’: This song musically is one of the darkest on the album. Instead of talking about sex in this one she becomes a fragile object on the doorstep semi-ready to pour her heart out. You can’t show up to someones house in tears and agony and expect them not to ask what’s wrong and your response be nothing. Can’t hide the pain, can’t hide the pain / When you’re wrapped in cellophane. It seems like she can’t escape the pain no matter how many attempts to love and fight for new love she ends back up at square one.
  12. ‘Dressed In Black’: I love the beat of this song and how it’s elongated at the end. It’s like will it ever end and what a great way to close out the album. The beginning of the song sounded as if she had been bamboozled by love yet again. I had given up, I didn’t know who to trust, oh / So I designed a shell / Kept me from heaven and hell. As you listen on things seem to sound better. Throughout all the pain and the love she thought she had found she finally found that happy ending.

You took my hand in yours
You started breaking down my walls
And you covered my heart in kisses
I thought life’d passed me by
Released my tears ignored my pride
Life had broken my heart, my spirit
And then you crossed my path
You quelled my fears you made me laugh
And you covered my heart in your kisses

Sia has talked about the method behind her perfection of songwriting and it begins with just one word. In the case of this album I was expecting it to be one word song titles and although that would’ve been cool, it would’ve also been too safe. Out of the twelve tracks she only has three that revolve around one word: ‘Chandelier’, ‘Hostage’, and ‘Cellophane’. It was really, really hard for me to choose my top 5 because I really enjoyed all twelve, but here they are:

  • ‘Chandelier’
  • ‘Eye of the Needle’
  • ‘Fair Game’
  • ‘Free The Animal’
  • ‘Dressed In Black’

This album overall is a very nice compilation. Sia is an amazing storyteller and as her stories are similar each one gives a different message. Based off her video for ‘Chandelier’ I would love to see a visual component with this album. It’d be great if every video was interpretive dance. One can dream. The album does go tit for tat with the tempos, but her songs are very deep and you do have to listen closely in certain sections because it does sound like she’s mumbling. It’s a great listen if you’re looking for deeper meaning lyrically and not just Top 40.

Lyrically the album revolves around the pain that people tend to mask and the music can get overlooked if the beat isn’t there. The more that I have listened to the album it is amazing and there are some that can make their way to radio, with proper promotion of course. Great compilation from Sia. If you have the time pull up the lyrics and read them along to her music. It gives new life to the tracks. Reading can add impact and in this case it does. Reading the lyrics for me was like deciphering poetry. Her lyrics make you think and for me that’s what music is about; taking you from your life and into the world of another.

Stream the album below (via Spotify):

7 thoughts on “Album Review: 1000 Forms of Fear

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