The fifth studio album from Australian born Sia Furler,We Are Born finds the singer’s distinctive voice in markedly upbeat territory, colourful and varied pop anthems interspersed with the laid back, drifting sounds of her cover of Madonna’s Oh Father and the bluesy Be Good to Me. The first track The Fight grabs your attention in a vice like grip from the beginning. Opening with a haunting electro chant that’s broken by a bluesy guitar riff and Sia’s raw vocals. The track escalates into a summery, pop laden chorus carried by Sia’s voice, as much of the album is.
The cheerfully innocent, poppy feel continues on through the album’s first single Clap Your Hands and the melodic Stop Trying. Be Good to Me and Hurting Me are the interval in this marathon of dance happy tracks. They lie back with a jazzy, chilled out blues sound that is absent from the energy the rest of the album belts out. The highlight of We Are Born is the anthemic Bring Night, characterised by the sinister rocky guitar lurking in the background, perhaps the influence of Nick Valensi’s (The Strokes) involvement. This track has more attitude than the blues evoked in the mellower numbers or the dance inducing pop that makes the main of the album. On the whole, the album might benefit from more such subtle edgy rock.
However that’s not to downplay the majesty to be found in the more childlike pop numbers. Cloud in particular reaches a more profound note than its neighbours. Sia gives her catchy pop heart here, taking on a darker edge in her lyrics. The track sees her proclaim to be a ‘dark cloud, swelling with hate’, the lyrics betraying the epically upbeat sound of the track. The final track, Sia’s cover of Madonna’s Oh Father, whilst beautiful and brilliantly suited to Sia’s vocal talent does not make as impressive a finale as the album deserves. A far more fitting end to this feisty slice of summery pop would’ve been the electro and guitar laden Big Girl, Little Girl, closing the album with a last punch of poppy energy instead of the anti climax provided by Oh Father.
We Are Born then is an album that is varied enough between its edgy electro dance pop and mellowed blues to grab your attention and make you listen. Its apparent innocence has enough of a kick to surprise you and get you addicted to its ceaseless catchiness. It’s an album, in short, that makes you want to go out and have as much fun as its music.