What's not a mystery as to why she's a big deal in the pop world is that she has an uncanny ability to leverage her jazz background to create incredibly catchy pop numbers. "Chandelier" is an example, a perfectly crafted dance-pop ditty that's destined to stay in the pop culture consciousness for more than a minute. "Big Girls Cry" is in the same boat, a power ballad destined to be the anthem for aggrieved souls everywhere. "Elastic Heart" is an R&B-pop joint that features a surprising guest appearance by the Weeknd. A few tracks get trapped in their own pop bombast — "Cellophane," "Free the Animal" — but for the most part, each of the 12 tracks on the album stand lyrically and melodically strong as potential singles and/or earworms in their own right.
One would be tempted to say this comes off as a glorified demo project, but that doesn't do Sia's songwriting and singer abilities proper justice. Just consider it a solid project from an artist who, after creating albums since the late-90s, is finally getting her recognition in front, instead of behind the curtain. (Universal)