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Sia: We Are Born

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Sia: <em>We Are Born</em>

Barely breathing

Sia must be eager to distance herself from “Breathe Me,” the wounded piano meditation made famous by Six Feet Under. Though a far cry from her mid-tempo Muzak of 2008, fifth studio LP We Are Born is as mild-tempered as most ‘90s Top 40 pop, lacking the sexual innuendo and oomph of her label Jive Records’ past luminaries. Too-brief forays into disco (“You’ve Changed”) and pop rock (“Bring Night” and “Stop Trying”) would have benefited from collaborators other than Strokes guitarist Nick Valensi and The Bird and the Bee’s Greg Kurstin; “Clap Your Hands” is a tamer version of any given Rapture track, and “Hurting Me Now” sounds like a Lily Allen B-side. Sia’s ostensible rebirth falls apart once We Are Born detours to bleak balladry with “I’m In Here,” a pale imitation of her big claim to fame.

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