- Record of the Year, "Chandelier"
- Song of the Year, "Chandelier"
- Best Pop Solo Performance, "Chandelier"
- Producer of the Year, Non-Classical - Greg Kurstin, "Chandelier" and Full Album
- Best Music Video, "Chandelier"
This is Sia's… 6th album? Where have I been? I thought this was a new-artist kind of deal. Okay, now I feel out of touch. There have also apparently been two more singles, "Eye of the Needle" and "Big Girls Cry." Way to drop the ball here radio.
This is noted as having a darker mood, which is surprising for anything on the pop end of the charts.
In an interesting twist, Sia opted to not show her face in any promotional work for the album, even turning away during live performances and opting for visual art instead.
Yah know, every time I've head "Chandelier," I've thought it was a Rihanna song right up until the chorus. Please tell me someone else out there hears it too? Regardless, it's obviously the biggest hit out of this collection thus far, and it's a complete fit into what pop radio wants today. It's got powerful moments to scream out when you're in the car or in a club, and that 'let free' attitude lyrically that everyone wants.
"Big Girls Cry" is the first venture into the unknown of Sia's world to me. From the opening notes, it's much more solemn, but with Sia's familiar, if not slightly dragging, voice. She's got a depth that I can appreciate in those vocals, it's just harder to grasp onto lyrics in this tone. I suppose that even all that said though, it's appropriate given the title.
In contrast, the opening to "Burn the Pages" sounds nothing like what you would expect given the title. Even the vocals rest on a much higher, lighter tone. I guess it's more to do with letting go than the anger that probably led up to it. Okay, okay, I can dig that. It's a free-ing feeling, which is incredibly necessary after the initial insanity that I'm sure led to this point.
"Eye of the Needle" continues the power streak that the album seems to be aiming for. It's all been very… loud, even when it's been quiet. It's still been a little difficult to fully make out the words, but the emotions are there more than anything else. And oddly, I really like that the music drops out completely at the end and it's just her voice for a moment on the 'oh's. Nice touch for some reason.
I've been wondering where the Wiki gods got off calling this alt-rock, but I'm starting to see it come through more and more. "Hostage" breaks away from the club vibe completely, and gets so close to pop punk that I'm nearly in shock. This is fun and free and a really pleasant surprise mid-album. I can even almost start to understand some of the words!
"Straight for the Knife" takes it back to the darkness a little bit. Things are echo-y, if not a bit ominous. I sort of like it in a weird, twisty sense. I mean, here's someone who went dark with lyrics, but the musical tone goes there too this time with some really interesting instrumentation chosen for the backing.
In what may be the clearest song, "Fair Game" comes in with a sort of heart-racing bridge later in the song that I wasn't expecting. The rest of the song is so low and sweet and… well, okay, sort of drags a bit. But that seems to be the nature of a self-evaluating song in this sense. I like it, in a weird way, for a one-time listen, but I'd be okay without this one for a while.
"Elastic Heart" sounds very familiar, as in I've heard this sound at the beginning of this album. I don't mean that every song has to be completely different, but when the ones before didn't totally appeal, this one might now. It's saved by the one simple lyric though, for me: "I've got a thick skin and an elastic heart."
And there's the more alt feel again, with "Free the Animal." I think all previous elements are actually contributed into this one. It makes it hard to grasp onto exactly what the song is going for, but it's not a bad amalgamation - just a little jarring and reminiscent more of a mash-up than otherwise.
"Fire Meet Gasoline" is intriguing right from the title. I think I like it… I can't make out half of the chorus, but the concept is just sort of great. I'd like to take this moment to admit, as well, that Sia's singing out seriously used to grate on my last nerves. But somehow, along the way, her power in those notes and confidence at that point has grown on me. You kind of just have to throw your all behind that belt.
"I'm your groundhog and I'm skating on thin ice" is the first lyric that caught my ear in "Cellophone." Is that, like, a thing? This is low in the back up high intensity all upfront. It's almost just too much to take in a weird way. And just now, I'm getting a Lady Gaga feel. But somehow not in the good way. In the way that I'm anxious for the next song to take over.
"Dressed In Black" ends things out with a little-girl-like twinkle at the start. It doesn't fail in the emotional intensity that the music alone delivers. There's something that becomes heartbreaking about that twinkle as it plays underneath. God, this could hurt right to the heart if you bury yourself too deeply into it.
Added to My Playlist:
- "Burn the Pages"
- "Straight for the Knife"
- "Elastic Heart"
- "Fire Meet Gasoline"
Well, the darker album title certainly makes sense now. And I can understand the nominations - musically, this album is creative as hell, and Chandelier is a prime example of that. You don't necessarily go from highs to lows, but it's an interesting ride nonetheless, with your ears never quite being able to figure out your stops long enough.
Don't forget to check out our ongoing Grammys 2015 playlist on Spotify as we continue to add albums to the list!