The Daily Gamecock

"This Is Acting" isn't Sia's best

Modeling a short black and white wig, pop sensation Sia puts on a funny face for the cover of her new album, “This Is Acting.”

Released on Jan. 29, “This Is Acting” is the Australian singer’s seventh studio album. The record contains 12 new tracks, including Sia’s latest singles, “Bird Set Free” and “Cheap Thrills.”

Though most well-known to the public for her hits “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart,” Sia is also responsible for writing songs for some of the biggest names in the industry.

In an interview with Ryan Seacrest this past September, Sia explained the reasoning behind the title of her latest album.

“Most of the songs, if not all of them, I wrote for other people, and they were rejected," Sia said. "And so generally they're songs that aren't from my perspective, so it feels like acting."

According to, “This Is Acting” includes songs that were intended for huge acts such as Rihanna, Adele, Katy Perry and even Beyonce. Despite being rejected by major artists, there are in fact a few hidden gems on Sia’s latest project.

“This Is Acting” begins with the track “Bird Set Free.” Clocking in at four minutes and 12 seconds, “Bird Set Free" is both dull and rather creepy. The beat on the track sounds exactly like every other ballad Sia puts out and thus is difficult to sit through. The song is supposed to be uplifting, but the lyrics themselves are rather morbid. Collectively, the song eerily relates to “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and is definitely not the type of song one would listen to on a sunny day with the windows down.

“Alive” is the second track on the record and was co-written by Adele. “Alive” is easily one of the most powerful tracks on the record as it, in typical Sia fashion, includes complex lyrics and beautiful vocals. “Alive” fits the typical mold fans have come to expect from the Australian singer. A song with symbolic and insightful lyrics, it is sure to be the latest of great ballads from Sia.

“Reaper” is the seventh song on “This Is Acting,” and unlike “Alive” this song very clearly was not intended to be performed by Sia. “Reaper” was written for Rihanna’s latest album “Anti” but was later scratched from the album and thus recorded by Sia. While catchy, the lyrics themselves lack the depth fans have come to expect from Sia. “Reaper” is in every sense average with the lyrics and the beat doing little to differentiate it from the many other stereotypical pop songs on the airways.

The savior of the album undoubtedly comes from the sixth track, “Cheap Thrills.” With an enticing beat and relevant lyrics, “Cheap Thrills” is the perfect song to belt out in the car or at a pregame. The track, which was also originally written for Rihanna, is fun and a rather refreshing change from Sia’s traditionally heavy ballads. “Cheap Thrills” places Sia out of her comfort zone and succeeds in giving fans another fantastic song to sing in the shower.

Overall, “This Is Acting” is a seemingly average album. While the idea behind the album is both cool and unique, the execution of the album seems to fall short. “This Is Acting” demonstrates Sia’s greatest strength as a songwriter, as the majority of the lyrics are clever and strong. The tracks themselves are disappointing in the sense that despite her amazing vocals, it is very clear that these songs were not intended for Sia thus they seem to lack her usual authenticity.