Sia : The Greatest — LCS Single Review
Since blowing up in 2013 with Elastic Heart after a lot of years of being in the background of the pop scene, Sia has been all over my newsfeed. Through collaboration with famous DJs and acts such as The Weeknd and Diplo, she has revived her music career at the tender age of 40. She has written about love, loss and being nothing short of what you are born to be, which seems to be the main topics of songwriting other than talking about much better at life they are at than you. We get it. You sing. After releasing, ‘The Greatest’ this month, a lot of new sounds have found their way into Sia’s already impressive arsenal. Let’s have a gander, shall we?
What struck me when listening to the intro is the steel drums. Last I checked, the steel drums were a lost additional to the books of 90’s hip hop and the occasional summer anthem, but for this to be added to a pop song would open a whole new perspective that pop is an expanding genre and is willing to attempt to reach new audiences. Like the Purpose album reached the bucket-hat-wearing legal-high-taking rave scene that seemed to take most mainstream festivals by storm. An addition of an A-List rapper seems to be the regular act to do these days when performing a hit pop song. Drake with Rhianna and/or Nicki Minaj. Pitbull with pretty much anybody, just in reverse. The list goes on. Adding Kendrick Lamar, after To Pimp A Butterfly blew up worldwide, would probably be the best decision that Sia and her group have ever made. This proves that Sia listens to good quality artist’s, and doesn’t simply grab the first rap star becasue of the size of their pay check last month. Kendrick is a genuine lyricist whom, I feel, puts a lot of effort and time into what hes writes, be it for himself, or for an external artist. As an external listener and one who has studied the inner workings of music production and technology, the mixing and production of this song is not as on point as most of Sia’s previous material. Nothing against Greg Kurstin or AJ Santos (Yektro), but this song sounds just a little to simple to be for an artist who has been around as long as Sia has, and with the help of some of her previous producers and recording directors, this song would have captured my intuition a little bit more.
Returning/continuing to music after such a meteoric rise is always difficult to follow up. To build upon something that Sia has taken so long to build from the ground up is something that is hard to do. I feel that the loyal following of Sia will like the new material because it gives them a new found love for the her. Helping them to understand that there is always something greater inside of them, or something along those lines. Adding such a big name as Kendrick will certainly open to door for his fans to consider the material. Something to think on I guess and see where it goes from here. Either another sky-bound hit of the year, or a track that is best left in Sia’s past.