Essential Listening: Alive, Sia

Essential Listening - pic

By Ross Gallacher


Before Sia’s 2014 hit ‘Chandelier’, the singer focused mainly on song-writing and helped deliver worldwide hits, such as Rihanna’s ‘Diamonds’, but now as a well-established singer she continuously brings us her own pop classics – Alive is no different. Co-written by Adele, the track was initially intended for Adele’s third studio album until it was dropped and Sia decided to record it herself.

Alive is an electrifying ballad sung with powerful emotion evoked by commanding lyrics. “I was born in a thunderstorm, I grew up overnight, I played alone, I played on my own. I survived,” Sia sings with a throaty, dignified resilience at the top of the song. With empowering lyrics layered over bombastic drums and dramatic pauses, there is an adventurous tone to this song which adds to its raw power. Sia belts, “I’m still breathing, I’m alive” over a chorus worthy of that soulful voice.

Although the song is styled to suit Adele’s vocals and the dramatic build of Alive sounds straight out of Adele’s wheelhouse, the outsized pop production and the ragged, throat-cracking, enrapturing vocal run Sia embarks on at the end are quintessentially her.

Like Alive, the rest of Sia’s new album will comprise of songs the singer initially wrote for other performers, including Beyoncé and Rihanna. Sia explains the title’s significance: “I’m calling it ‘This Is Acting’ because they are songs I was writing for other people, so I didn’t go in thinking, ‘This is something I would say.’ It’s more like play-acting. It’s fun.” So prepare yourselves for an album that contains very different styles and stories. If Alive is anything to go by, it will be simply fantastic.

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