Skip to main content

Latest Music Thoughts | Favoring Sia's "This Is Acting" LP

It’s been awhile since I’ve punched the keys on music. It’s actually not because I’ve stopped listening to music (who does that?), but because, well, I’ve just been doing just that – listening to music.

I’ll admit, there was a period – a few months ago - where I became a bit disconnected and upset with the music that was being released. Much of it felt forced, cookie-cutter, and for the most part, unmoving. And this was across the board in so many genres. For me, even as a casual country-listener (this city-kid dabbles a bit ya know), I always felt that genre of music always stayed true to its form with authentic writing – albeit mostly, and annoyingly, about love, alcohol, and pickups trucks – but it was theirs. Not anymore. Country is generic. At times weak, sounding like cheap rip offs of pop music.

Hey, just blogging.

I get that things change, and evolve, and new sounds are being produced. I give a lot of credit to Kanye West for this movement. Love the guy or hate him, he is part genius. Unfortunately, he doesn’t need us to tell him. Just check your latest tabloid news.

With all of that said, Sia’s recent album, This is Acting, released back in January, is one that I keep coming back to this year. For some reason, I’m all about it. Really, I am.

For starters, it’s Sia. The woman’s writing speaks for itself as she’s handed lyrics over for some of the best voices to ever lay tracks. In all genres. From all walks of life. Just look it up.

Yet, what got my intrigued for starters was indeed her breakout performance in giving the whole singing thing a try with “Chandelier” in 2014. Even more so is when I heard that this LP was a collection of songs rejected – yes, rejected – by many of the same singers she’s written for, including Adele, Rhianna, and Beyonce.

“I feel like they’re hits nobody wanted. So I said, let’s see, as an experiment, if I’m right."  
                                                                                                                    - Sia Furler

So she turned rejection into possibly, thus far, my favorite album of the year. The track “Bird Set Free” is obviously an ode to her jumping into the realm of singing her own words. “Cheap Thrills” with its island vibes and the surprise return of Sean Paul, who disappeared from our lives, is now being played on commercial radio and filling the dead silence on road trips this summer. And of course there is my favorite, “Alive”, which masterfully uses the art of the imperfect human voice (screw you auto tune) in a pretty powerful breakdown. Love the scratchy sound. So imperfect that it’s beautiful. Sounds weird, but give it a listen.

This is Acting isn’t the greatest album, but damn, for all of the elements involved – a first time LP at the age of 40, rejected lyrics, and an album without a dud on there, it’s a must listen. 

Recently Read Posts

Dear Son, Letting In and Letting Go

--25 Weeks Old (Before Birth)--
Dear Son, 
The word is now spreading to more and more people about your existence, or eventual arrival - however, you prefer to look at it - and it feels like a fire that is now out of our control. That's not necessarily a bad thing, but as mentioned in prior letters to you, your mother and I are pretty methodical in how we divulge news about our private lives. 
Truthfully, your mother is definitely more willing to share news than I am, and you'll eventually see that one day. Maybe I'll change, who knows? But the truth is, because of the nature in how I grew up, in the neighborhood that I did, and really, the independence that I had to attain early on, I've always been late to share things with others. That's just who I am. It's probably why I have had this very blog since I was sixteen - to let those thoughts out somewhere.

March Sadness

This post has been coming for awhile, and it now seems like the best time to do so...
So, here goes...
Division I Basketball is getting more and more difficult for me to watch and support. 
Just like I once laid out regarding my ethical feelings towards the NFL (and really, football, overall), thus is the same credence and feelings I have developing for Division I Basketball - mainly the NCAA's approach to it. Now of course, my feelings aren't something new as many share my thoughts and opinions on this - the NCAA is corrupt and college basketball is a sham. But for me, it goes even deeper - certain programs, coaches, and communities enable this exploitation of young men. And yes, many shy away from that word, but that's exactly what college basketball has become, an exploitation of services.

Sunday Sundown Rundown - 3/18/18

3 Up 
1. UMBC - I'm really struggling to watch these tournament games. The games have been entertaining, but morally, I can't stomach the exploitation of these young men (more on that some other time). Regardless, kudos to the young men of UMBC who made history this week. I'm thrilled to see such a program make headlines, and of course, for a coach from the DII and DIII ranks who did it the right way. 
2. UMBC Social Media Team - Yo, whoever is running the UMBC Twitter following their defeat of Virginia deserves a raise. There was some serious shade being thrown, and to be honest, everyone who was in their way in some ways, deserves it. 
3. 2018 Paralympics - Oddly, I watched a tremendous amount of these games and was totally in awe of the athletes. Shockingly, the hockey games were super entertaining to me. So much love and credit to those who participated, and even more importantly, continue to persevere despite disabilities. 
3 Down
1. Florida Bridge Collapse - So sad. I…

Dome Pondering Movie Review: Roman J. Israel Esq. (2017)

What is it about?
An unusual but driven and idealistic lawyer finds himself in a series of events that forces him to his extremes, and ultimately, to make a decision on what he stands for. 
Who is in it? 
Denzel Washington - Roman J. Israel Esq. 
Colin Farrell - George Pierce 
Carmen Ejogo - Maya Alston