Music

Album review | POP

Sia, ‘1000 Forms of Fear’

Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images/file 2013

Even if you don’t immediately recognize the moniker, Sia Furler, who uses her first name professionally, is a success by any pop music metric.

The Aussie singer-songwriter has scored a clutch of hits as a writer and co-writer with other artists, including Rihanna’s “Diamonds,” and is a featured vocalist on some of those songs, including “Titanium” with David Guetta.

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Luckily, Sia also puts those pipes to good use on her own material, including her dynamite new album, “1000 Forms of Fear.”

The famously shy singer digs into the concept of “fear” early and often, singing frequently of being frightened, afraid, and terrified as her narrators ache for and are repelled by love.

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But there is little betrayal of this emotion in her voice, which vaults from a claustrophobic whisper to a full-throated howl. A hint of a rasp and crackle makes her tales of helplessness in the face of romantic entanglements — laid over ticking electro-pop tracks — feel so human.


Among the highs are the piercing piano ballad “Straight for the Knife,” where she sings of still being “hungry for your bad loving”; the pulsating “Fair Game,” which finds her vacillating between fight and surrender; and the fizzy rocker “Hostage.” (Out Tuesday)

SARAH RODMAN

ESSENTIAL “Fair Game”

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