1000 Forms of Fear

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1000 Forms of Fear
Studio album by Sia
Released 4 July 2014 (2014-07-04)
Recorded 2013–14; Echo Studio (Los Angeles)
Genre Electropop[1]
Length 48:41
Label
  • Monkey Puzzle
  • RCA
Producer
Sia chronology
  • 1000 Forms of Fear
  • (2014)
Singles from 1000 Forms of Fear
  1. "Chandelier"
    Released: 17 March 2014
  2. "Big Girls Cry"
    Released: 6 October 2014

1000 Forms of Fear is the sixth studio album by Australian singer-songwriter Sia Furler,[2] released on 4 July 2014 in Australia, 6 July in the United Kingdom, and 8 July in the United States.[3] "Chandelier", released in March 2014, served as the album's lead single. On 2 June 2014, "Eye of the Needle" was made available for download with album pre-orders on iTunes Store.[4] On 26 June 2014, "Big Girls Cry" was also made available for digital download.[5][6]

The album received positive reviews from music critics, with many critics praising the album's darker mood, as well as the production and Sia's vocals and songwriting. This album became her first number one album in the United States and sold in its first week more than 52,000 copies. It also debuted at number 1 in Canada and Australia and at number 4 in New Zealand. As of September 2014, the album has sold 310,000 copies worldwide.[7]1000 Forms of Fear was produced by Furler's longtime collaborator Greg Kurstin.[8] Diplo co-produced "Elastic Heart" and Jesse Shatkin co-produced "Chandelier."

Background[edit]

1000 Forms of Fear is Sia's first album in four years. The singer's fifth studio record, We Are Born, was released in June 2010 and was her most successful album at the time, charting in several countries including France, United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada and the United States. It also marked Sia's first top-ten album release in her home country, reaching number two on the Australian Albums Chart. The album was successful in the United States with a debut at number 37 on the Billboard 200.

However, Furler was uncomfortable with the prospect of becoming famous, refused to do promotional appearances, and became addicted to alcohol and drugs. In 2010, she was planning to commit suicide by overdosing on drugs but was stopped by a friend, and began a twelve-step program. She also changed her manager and focused on writing songs for other artists.[9]

From 2011 to 2013, Sia co-wrote several popular singles, including "Wild Ones" by Flo Rida, David Guetta's "Titanium" and "She Wolf (Falling to Pieces)", "Diamonds" by Rihanna, "Perfume" by Britney Spears, and Beyoncé's "Pretty Hurts", which subsequently elevated Sia's profile as a singer and songwriter.[10] On 1 October 2013, "Elastic Heart" was released as a single from the album The Hunger Games: Catching Fire – Original Motion Picture Soundtrack,[11] and has charted in several countries. In New Zealand, the single was certified gold.[12]

By September 2013, Sia was recording vocal tracks at her home studio with the hope of releasing a new album the following spring.[13] In late 2013, a team of RCA Records representatives including the label's CEO Peter Edge met with Sia to discuss a record deal. Eventually, the singer signed a contract that would stipulate she doesn't have to tour or do press appearances to promote the album.[10]

Promotion[edit]

In an interview with Dazed magazine, Sia explained that she had decided not to show her face in videos and press shots in the campaign for 1000 Forms of Fear, and focused on creating visual art through her videos instead.[14] The album's lead single "Chandelier", and its accompanying video was recreated during a live performance of the song on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on 19 May 2014, with Maddie Ziegler dancing in front of the audience and Furler facing the wall.[15]

I already have a much larger concept for this album and for how I'm going to present it and that was: I don't want to be famous. If Amy Winehouse was a beehive then I guess I'm a blonde bob. I thought 'well if that's my brand, how can I avoid having to use my face to sell something', so my intention was to create a blonde bob brand. Throughout this whole thing I'll put a different person in a blonde bob and either they lip-synch while I'm doing a live performance or they perform a dance or do some sort of performance while I have my back to the audience, as with Ellen.

—Sia Furler[14]

Sia continued this form of promotion on Late Night with Seth Meyers by having Lena Dunham perform an interpretive dance in a blonde bob while Sia performed lying face-down in a bed onstage. On 19 June 2014, Sia appeared on The Howard Stern Show.[16]

Singles[edit]

"Chandelier" was released for digital download onto iTunes Stores on 17 March 2014 as the albums lead single.[17] On 6 May 2014, the singer released a music video for the song, featuring 11-year-old dancer Maddie Ziegler in a blonde wig.[18] "Chandelier" received mainly positive reviews from music critics and was commercially successful. It peaked at number 8 on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single by Sia to appear on the chart as a lead artist.[19] "Chandelier" was successful in Australia and Europe, peaking within the top five of national record charts including: Flanders and France (number one), Australia and Norway (number two), New Zealand[20] (number three), Scotland (number four), UK (number six), and Slovakia (number five). The single was certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association (ARIA),[21] and gold by Recorded Music NZ (RMNZ).[22] "Eye of the Needle" and "Big Girls Cry" were both released as promotional singles both charting at number 36 in Australia; the latter later reached number 18 in France.

An alternate version of "Elastic Heart," which featured a collaboration with The Weeknd, was released as the second single for The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack. The song, released in October 2013, charted in the Australia, Belgium, the UK and New Zealand.[23] During an interview for NRJ, Sia announced that "Elastic Heart" will be re-released to radio stations as the album's second single worldwide, while "Big Girls Cry" will be released only in France, with a music video.[24]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 76/100[25]
Review scores
Source Rating
AllMusic 4/5 stars[26]
The A.V. Club C[27]
Drowned in Sound 6/10[28]
The Guardian 3/5 stars[29]
The Independent 4/5 stars[30]
MusicOMH 4.5/5 stars[31]
PopMatters 8/10[32]
Rolling Stone 4/5 stars[33]
Slant Magazine 4/5 stars[34]
Spin 8/10[35]

1000 Forms of Fear received mostly positive reviews from music critics. It currently has a score of 76 out of 100 on Metacritic indicating "generally favorable reviews", based on 28 critics, and on AnyDecentMusic?, it has a score of 7.1/10 based on 30 critical reviews. Heather Phares from AllMusic gave the album 4 out of 5 stars stating: "To say it's her most accessible album yet doesn't diminish it or her previous albums; instead, it's the sound of Furler owning her success." MusicOMH also praised the album, saying it is "probably one of Sia's finest body of work" and called it "an essential album."[31]

Annie Galvin, of Slant Magazine said 1000 Forms of Fear' "[...] seems pitched like a comeback, channeling the darkness Sia has found in fame, addiction, and personal loss in recent years into a batch of crescendoing power anthems that find her both wallowing in and overcoming a variety of setbacks.", whilst saying the album "surpasses her earlier albums in its consistency and balls-to-the-wall gusto", saying it should "[...] be the vessel that rockets the singer out of relative obscurity and into the stratosphere populated by those more recognizable stars who've come to dominate the pop-music universe thanks, in part, to her songwriting skills."[34]

Hugh Montgomery, of The Independent, gave the album 4 stars, stating Sia's strongest points are in her "ginormo-ballads, which she attacks with a visceral force that puts many of her famous collaborators to shame".[30]

Ryan Lathan from PopMatters called Sia's "jaw-dropping" voice "both her dearest friend and her worst enemy". His review wasn't entirely positive though, as he stated "[...] The occasional filler that clutters 1000 Forms of Fear prevents it from really lifting off as a cohesive piece [...]", but noted that "[...] but as mainstream pop albums go, there are few as well-crafted or executed as Furler has delivered here." He gave the album 8 stars out of ten. [32]

Not all reviews were positive, however, as Annie Zaleski of The A.V. Club, said of 1000 Forms of Fear "she often sounds uncomfortable belting out dramatic choruses or cooing like a confident diva; on the new-wave pop throwback “Hostage,” her voice cracks like a punk singer, not a radio starlet.", and said that Sia "isn't predisposed to the musical concessions often needed to achieve hits". She wasn't entirely negative though, finishing "1000 Forms of Fear certainly has the songs and contemporary sheen to make Sia a star in her own right, but it’s at the expense of both her emotional intimacy and her offbeat personality."[27]

The album was placed at number thirteen on Digital Spy '​s Best Albums of 2014 list.[36]

Accolades[edit]

Publication List Rank Ref.
Boston Globe, TheThe Boston Globe Best Albums of 2014 not ranked[a] [1]
Digital Spy Top 15 Albums of 2014 13 [37]
New York Times, TheThe New York Times Favorite Albums of 2014 5 [38]
Slant Magazine The 25 Best Albums of 2014 13 [39]
Telegraph, TheThe Telegraph Best Albums of 2014 44 [40]
Notes
  1. ^ The album was given the title "Best Surprise" by Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe.[1]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Chandelier"  
3:37
2. "Big Girls Cry"  
  • Kurstin
  • Braide[a]
3:32
3. "Burn the Pages"  
  • Furler
  • Kurstin
Kurstin 3:16
4. "Eye of the Needle"  
  • Furler
  • Braide
Kurstin 4:10
5. "Hostage"  
Kurstin 2:56
6. "Straight for the Knife"  
Kurstin 3:32
7. "Fair Game"  
  • Furler
  • Kurstin
Kurstin 3:52
8. "Elastic Heart"  
4:18
9. "Free the Animal"  
  • Furler
  • Kurstin
  • Jasper Leak
Kurstin 4:25
10. "Fire Meet Gasoline"  
Kurstin 4:02
11. "Cellophane"  
  • Furler
  • Kurstin
Kurstin 4:26
12. "Dressed in Black"  
  • Furler
  • Kurstin
  • Grant Michaels
Kurstin 6:41
Total length:
48:41
Notes
  • ^a signifies a vocal producer
  • ^b signifies a co-producer
  • The song "Burn the Pages" lyrically samples Sia's own song, "Lullaby" from her album Some People Have Real Problems (2007).

Charts[edit]

Chart (2014) Peak
position
Australian Albums (ARIA)[41] 1
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders)[42] 34
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia)[42] 10
Canadian Albums (Billboard)[43] 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten)[44] 5
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts)[45] 22
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista)[46] 9
French Albums (SNEP)[47] 8
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100)[48] 30
Irish Albums (IRMA)[49] 19
Italian Albums (FIMI)[50] 53
New Zealand Albums (Recorded Music NZ)[20] 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista)[51] 2
Polish Albums (ZPAV)[52] 14
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE)[53] 30
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan)[54] 25
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade)[55] 4
UK Albums (OCC)[56] 11
US Billboard 200[57] 1
Year-End Chart (2014) Position
US Billboard 200[57] 131

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA)[58] Gold 35,000^
Poland (ZPAV)[59] Gold 10,000*

*sales figures based on certification alone
^shipments figures based on certification alone
xunspecified figures based on certification alone

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label Ref.
Australia 4 July 2014
[60]
United Kingdom 6 July 2014 [61]
United States 8 July 2014 [62]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Rodman, Sarah (13 December 2014). "Sarah Rodman’s 2014 best albums picks". The Boston Globe. Retrieved 17 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (18 April 2014). "5 Things We Learned About Sia From Her NY Times Magazine Story". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 April 2014. 
  3. ^ Lipshutz, Jason (14 May 2014). "Sia Announces '1000 Forms of Fear' Release Date & Track List". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 18 May 2014. 
  4. ^ Furler, Sia (2 June 2014). "Sia – !!! You can now listen to "Eye of the Needle"! It's the 2nd...". Facebook. Retrieved 2 July 2014. 
  5. ^ McGahan, Michelle (26 June 2014). "Listen to Sia's New Song 'Big Girls Cry'". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  6. ^ Stevenson, Alexander (26 June 2014). "Sia Releases New Single, "Big Girls Cry"". Retrieved 6 September 2014. 
  7. ^ http://www.mediatraffic.de/albums-week30-2014.htm
  8. ^ Feeney, Nolan (8 July 2014). "REVIEW: Sia Confronts 1000 Forms of Fear on New Album". TIME. Retrieved 18 July 2014. 
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  10. ^ a b Gallo, Phil (25 October 2013). "Sia: The Billboard Cover Story". Billboard. Prometheus Global Media. Retrieved 23 May 2014. 
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  14. ^ a b Cragg, Michael (May 2014). "Sia on taking performance to the masses". Dazed. Retrieved 3 June 2014. 
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External links[edit]