Release Date: Jan 8, 2008
Record label: Hear
Genre(s): Rock, Pop
Some People Have Real Problems is Sia's first release on the Starbucks-affiliated Hear Music label, following acts like Paul McCartney and Joni Mitchell. Given the burst of attention Sia got when her song "Breathe Me" was used to excellent effect in the final scenes of the series finale of the HBO show Six Feet Under, which brought the Australian singer/songwriter to a much wider audience than was familiar with her earlier work with Zero 7 and Massive Attack, it makes perfect sense. With her old-school soul vocal style, with just a hint of roughness under her delicate high-register tones, set against the contemporary sophistication of her music, Sia is exactly the sort of artist a middle-aged Starbucks devotee who wants to remain at least tangentially hip would flock to: if Amy Winehouse did yoga instead of Jack Daniels, she'd sound a lot like Sia.
You may not recognize Australian chanteuse Sia by name, but chances are you know her delicately cracked voice from Brothers & Sisters, Grey’s Anatomy, the Six Feet Under finale…. Sia ditches the sleepy pace of prior efforts for a throatier soul sound that jibes with her quietly crescendoing tunes on some people have REAL problems. She mixes it up with the sweet ”Academia” (featuring harmonies from Beck) and a soaring cover of the Kinks’ ”I Go to Sleep.” But think of those as bonus tracks, adding flavor to an already stunning CD.
Don’t even pretend you need this review. If you’ve enjoyed Sia’s voice and/or music before, you’ll enjoy this album, and you already know it. A handful of songs, including album starter Little Black Sandals, feel like comfortable forays into the ticklish territory this quirky artist has travelled before, but when Sia spreads her wings a bit, as on Lentil and Death By Chocolate, she soars.