Video Review: Sia, ‘Elastic Heart’

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Sia has released another visual from her album, 1000 Forms of Fear (click HERE to read album review), to the track ‘Elastic Heart.’ Before watching I was interested to see if the video would take the same interpretive dance route that ‘Chandelier’ took and I was right. As Sia is not in the video herself, she uses her videos to bring the songs to life. The track on the album did feature The Weeknd, but for the video it’s Sia singing alone.

The video began with a cage which reminded me of a wrestling match. Inside there were the two stars of the video, Shia LaBeouf and the same star of ‘Chandelier’ (click HERE for that review), Maddie Ziegler. The two are in nude attire which would cause for skepticism from certain viewers as Shia is 28 and Maddie is 12. Looking past that and sticking to the video there is a lot of thought behind it.

The cage itself becomes symbolic in the end of the video. It is seen as a bubble that a father and daughter are caught in when the relationship between the two is diabolical. It’s unhealthy and the little girl frights and fights as he tries to get closer and soothe her. As he gets closer she gets animalistic and tries to bite him. When reading more about Sia she discussed that she believed her father had Multiple Personality Disorder. That animalistic behavior was a result of that and her father continuously tried to calm her as she continued to fight him.

Mid video the tables turn and he tries to escape only she lays and calms. He thinks its safe enough to approach her yet she snaps yet again. She calms once more and eventually escapes the cage. Her father looks around to find himself alone and then she slips back in to try and save him. He had tried to get out once before, as mentioned, but he stayed for her. As she comes in and sits on his back that’s symbolic of her being the constant weight on his shoulders, but once she realized that she tries to get him out. She has found a way to get herself out, now she wants to help in.

Once she climbs down she takes his hand to walk out the cage, but and tries to pull him out, but he’s stuck. Looking past Shia might not being able to get through the bars it’s symbolic in her winning the battle and him being stuck within. The end of the video and the silence of her screams as she tries to pull him out and watching him limply stare into space was heart wrenching. He realized it was too late and her face knew it was too, but as she still wanted to try he knew his fate.

The video makes it seem as she’s the one that’s crazy, but it’s really her defense mechanism to him. She has to act a certain way to deal with all that he comes with.

Lyrically and musically the song is amazing. The lyrics explain why she cannot be broken down and how her heart is pretty much indestructible. Sia has a powerful voice, but as she murmurs in certain spots and keeps her voice low it puts emphasis on not only the words, but the overall emotion as well.

This video goes beyond the displays of a father/daughter relationship. It’s a symbol of any dysfunctional relationship where two people feel trapped and as one tries to help and the other continuously fights. The great thing about a video such as this is that it gives the viewer a chance to not only enter the world of the artist, but enter another world of their own. One viewer may take away something that another viewer may not. It’s all about perspective and videos that give that are pure art and is a job well done by the artist. Another visual slam dunk for Sia. As visual albums seem to be some type of a trend, this album could really be turned into a motion picture. Visually it would be absolutely amazing.

Despite what critics have said such as the video displaying pedophilia, the video is absolutely beautiful to me as I see the symbolism. Sia has countered those claims by explaining that Shia and Maddie are the only two she felt could execute her vision. Sia has already performed this song on Late Night With Seth Meyers back in June of last year and she will be performing the song again on January 17th on Saturday Night Live with Maddie taking the lead.

Check out the video below and feel free to leave your thoughts.

This Year in Music: 2014 Favorites

It’s been quite a year in music and for the first time since I’ve started blogging it’s been a slow one. Of course there have been albums released and artists making their way back to the forefront, but it’s been a lackluster year for me which could probably be seen in my reviews. I love to review albums, singles, and videos from artists that I have grown to love over the years. I will not be covering every music accomplishment of the year, just my personal favorites. Also no celeb drama will be included. You can click HERE if interested in what I think about the flood of celeb breakups. Anyway, let’s get into it. As always be sure to click the links as it will lead you to the reviews that I have done. In total I have reviewed 16 albums, 33 singles, and 51 videos; grand total 100. Not to shabby.

Favorite Albums of the Year

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I take my time with album reviews and try to connect and find some meaning to the way the artists have compiled the tracks and the overall sound of the project. Some shined, some disappointed, and some made me fall in love again.

Two albums that I loved this year were Magic!’s, Don’t Kill the Magic and Sia’s, 1000 Forms of FearAs for a soundtrack I LOVED the Think Like a Man Too Soundtrack with 14 original tracks from Mary J. Blige. (I still have yet to see the movie).

While she didn’t release an album this year, JoJo’s Valentine’s Day EP, #LoveJo, can be added to my favs. Her cover of Anita Baker’s, ‘Caught Up In The Rapture’, is one for the books.

sia-chandelier-video-2Video of the Year

Yes I was on a Sia craze this year and her video gets video of the year for my picks goes to her heartfelt ‘Chandelier’ video, As I stated in my review I envisioned an interpretive dance video for the track and I was so happy for that to be the outcome. I absolutely love it and if she didn’t release anything else that entire year that song and video would really suffice. My other two picks are Janelle Monáe’s sorority inspired video, Electric Lady and Queen Bey’s, ‘7.11.’ (Again, click the links!)

1. Sia, ‘Chandelier’

2. Janelle Monáe, ‘Electric Lady’

3. Beyoncè, ‘7/11’

Honorable Mentions – Katy Perry, ‘This Is How We Do’ / Coldplay, ‘Sky Full of Stars’

magicArtists That Didn’t Make It Past Their Lead Single

As I loved both Don’t Kill the Magic and 1000 Forms of Fear, there was nothing played except from the lead singles, Rude’ and ‘Chandelier’, from each compilation respectively. I could see the Issue with Magic! as they released a reggae track yet not much reggae was found on their album. As for Sia, she’s an incognito artist, but her album was absolutely beautiful. Sia is nominated for _ Grammy’s for ‘Chandelier’. Unfortunately ‘Rude’ just might be the greatest thing that happened for Magic! I can’t wait to see them perform in 2015 alongside Maroon 5 on tour.

Songs I Don’t Want to Hear in 2015

The radio has a way of making your ears bleed when they play the same songs on five different stations at the same time in rotation. Two songs that I do NOT want to hear in 2015 are Iggy Azalea’s, ‘Black Widow’, and Ariana Grande’s, ‘Break Free.’ It’s been a great year for those two young ladies, but the radio played out those songs to no end. I thought ‘Fancy’ was bad, but I would rather hear Taylor Swift’, ‘Shake It Off’ followed by ‘Blank Space’ then ‘All About That Bass’ over and over then to hear ‘Black Widow’ and ‘Break Free’.

Artists I Can’t Wait To Hear From in 2015

Well this one is a no brainer, RIHANNA! There were rumors of her releasing her with studio album as a surprise this year, but I pretty much guarantee that she will be releasing one next year. Hopefully we won;t have to endure an entire year without Rihanna music and that it will hit right around Spring, Summer the latest. I absolutely LOVED Unapologetic (Click HERE for that review) and it was one of my favorites last year.

Speaking of Rihanna, how could I forget the return of Adele. It’s been nearly 4 years since the release of her multi-platinum album, 21, and I can’t wait to hear more. There’s been rumors of the album being titled ’25’ which makes sense as both her 1st and 2nd album had numeric significance. I just can’t wait to hear more of her amazing voice.

Lastly,  I’m excited to hear more from is Meghan Trainor. When I first saw her ‘All About That Bass’ video on Facebook I thought it would be just another fad, BUT Meghan has soared to the top of Billboard’s Hot 100 and can now add Grammy-award nominee to her list of accomplishments and her debut,, hasn’t even been reeled yet. I loved her EP, Titleand I can’t wait to hear her album.

Albums I Need to Listen to at the Top of 2015

There’s two albums in particular that I didn’t get around to listening to upon their releases and that’s Taylor Swift’s, 1989and J. Cole’s, 2014 Forrest Hills Drive. I’m not sure when I will be doing a review of those too, but expect in sometime in January. Definitely need to give those two a listen. Also congrats to both on their album sales.

Welp, that’s it. It was a long post, but I think I covered my favs. Stay tuned for my follow-up post of some of my favorite songs of 2014. Click HERE if you’re interested in seeing what my non-music favs were of this year and CHEERS to 2015. More reviews to come starting tomorrow.

HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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):