Having earned her solo artist status by way of backup gigs with Jamiroquai, Massive Attack, and William Orbit, Australian-born Sia Furler is now proving she can hold her own with Some People Have Real Problems, her full-length release on Starbucks' Hear Music label. Over 13 tracks, the '90s indie-spirited singer channels a combination of cute and nasally Nelly Furtado, raspy Joss Stone, quirky Ani DiFranco, and soulful Jewel. For the most part, Sia creates memorable choruses full of grace and sophistication. What she lacks in poetic depth and finesse (and there is certainly room for improvement in this department), she can usually compensate for through her delivery. Vocally, she veers between fragile and dreamy and playful and strange. It's her silly words and ideas that sometimes get in the way of taking her music to the next level — particularly on her duet with Beck, when she tries too hard to make alphabetical and mathematical-related thoughts light and romantic: "I'm a binary code that you cracked long ago/But to you I'm just a novel that you wish you'd never wrote/I'm greater than x and lesser than y, so why is it/That I still can't catch your eye?" Nerds everywhere are taking notes.
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