Ambivalence is probably the word that would best describe my reaction to Sia's new single, 'You've Changed.' Before I started listening to it, I would have expected her soulful, smoky vocals to tower over a melancholic, mellow and lengthy ballad. Instead, I discovered an electro-pop, disco infused three-minute track that would be more familiar to a crowded club late on a Saturday than a desolate and dark room on a Tuesday night.
But at the same time, I find myself entranced: the entire track is a vivacious, reinvigorating and a refreshing approach for an artist that, after releasing four albums of mopey and morose pop, has made herself out as the victim for far too long. Although the raw emotion that used to dominate her past records is now all but eclipsed by a high tempo, upbeat fusion of acid jazz, funk and soul, you can still identify Sia in the potent and malleable vocals.
In fact, Sia's done something quite extraordinary with 'You've Changed;' on her way to transforming her own approach to music, she's taken an already impressive house track from an emerging DJ, added some meaningful, personal lyrics to it, given it a new title as well as changing the direction of it altogether. The result: a radio-friendly pop anthem, which could be easily lead to comparisons with past collaborator and pop extraordinaire Jamiroquai; I'm not completely sure if that's a compliment though.
'You've Changed', Sia; oh you certainly have. Worryingly though, I don't entirely think that it's been a successful transition; I suppose only time and your forthcoming fifth album, 'We Are Born,' will tell.