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.