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Some People Have Real Problems

Mixed Up Confusion

Rating: 5 / 10

Colin Carberry, 23 Apr 2008

We’re picking up mixed signals from Sia Furler’s fourth album. On the one hand, a yen for mellow, sophisticated pop peeks through to suggest an intriguing missing link between Robyn and Joan Wasser; on the other – we run away in terror from a singer who too often comes at us brandishing a demented, sub-Christina, banshee wail.

Then there are the titles. You might think it impossible not to love an album christened Some People Have Real Problems – especially when it contains a peach of a song, snappily entitled ‘The Girl You Lost To Cocaine’. But then you’ll scan down the track-listing, see ‘Death By Chocolate’, cough, and quietly say your goodbyes.

Assuming we do give Some People the benefit of the doubt, our good faith will be rewarded by ‘Soon We’ll Be Found’, and the Beck-featuring ‘Academia’. If we’re stand-offish, ‘Little Black Sandals’ and ‘You Have Been Loved’, will justify our reserve. The latter, in particular, reaches such a level of noxious insincerity, you expect it to turn up during the next season of X-Factor.

The fact that the best moment on the album is provided by a striking, but pointless cover of an amazing Ray Davies song (‘I Go To Sleep’ – also covered by everyone from Peggy Lee to The Pretenders), gives some indication of the disappointing nature of Some People. And perhaps explains why, almost a decade since first appearing on the scene, we’re still not sure what Sia is trying to say.

Key Track: ‘I Go To Sleep’

Rating: 5 / 10
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