We Are Born

by Lisa Kirchner

Australia-born Sia is well known in other parts of the world, but her last album, 2008’s Some People Have Real Problems, was a U.S. breakthrough.

Even Christina Aguilera took notice, enlisting Sia on her forthcoming Bionic, which is fitting since We Are Born kind of sounds like a Christina Aguilera album minus suspicious Spanish detours. It’s true American pop–sticky hooks, dancefloor-ready bass lines, multiple choruses–moreso than Sia’s previous efforts. And that’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you like your pop polished. Still, you have to wonder if some of these songs–like “Clap Your Hands” with its “Clap your hands/Clap your hands” chorus–were meant for a direct-to-mainstream audience rather than Sia’s indie-leaning faithful. But then you hear smart, R&B-inflected tunes like “You’ve Changed” or “Bright Night” (featuring Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi) and youre forced to succumb to Sia’s sweetness. Ear candy is ear candy, after all.

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