1000 Forms of Fear is the sixth studio album by the Australian singer & songwriter Sia Furler and was released globally to digital retailers on July 4, 2014.

Background Edit

Following the mildly successful release of her fifth studio album We Are Born, Sia decided to retire as a recording artist after the aftermath of a suicide that she didn't end up going through. Her comeback single, "Titanium", was released in 2012 on the popular DJ David Guetta's second album "Nothing But The Beat" along with another single sang by the Australian pop singer ("She Wolf (Falling To Pieces").

From 2011 to 2013, Sia spent her free time writing songs for artists like Beyoncé, Britney Spears, Celine Dion, Flo Rida, Christina Aguilera and Rihanna, just to name a couple.

By September of 2013, Sia had been taking time to make recording sessions in her home studio with the hope of releasing a full length album by the following spring.[1] The conditions for the album was that she would not do any promotions or tours. The only record company who was interested in the conditions were RCA Records.

In an interview with NME in February of 2015, Sia revealed that her record was released an unnegotionable contractual obligation:

Basically, I put this out to get out of my publishing deal. I was planning to be a pop songwriter for other artists. But my publishing deal was as an artist so I had to put one more album out. I didn't want to get famous so I kept all the songs I wanted and had a lot of fun making it.

In an interview with Elle, Sia explained that the album's title was completely based on a quote by a friend who was going through the process of giving birth to a newborn child:

One of my friends was having a baby and I asked her how she was doing and she said, 'Oh you know, the usual: a thousand forms of fear.' And I said, 'Can I call my album that?'

Composition Edit

1000 Forms of Fear is primarily an electropop album, with some influences of hip-hop and reggae. It opens with the glossy electropop track, "Chandelier", which includes a reggae type beat. Lyrically, the track talks about "the glitter and fatigue of a party girl's life."[4] , tackling the issues of alcoholism that Sia had to deal with before she was sober. The follow-up, "Big Girls Cry", was mildly compared to Alanis Morissette's track, "Hands Clean". On the third track, "Burn the Pages", Furler described a friend who she wants to cheer up: "You're twisted up like a slipknot / Tied by a juicehead who just took his T-shot." "Eye of the Needle" is a "military-march" piano ballad, while "Hostage" is a new wave pop and ska track rejected from her fourth album, that features Sia's voice "cracking like a punk singer." The sixth song, "Straight for the Knife", is instrumented by strings and lyrically details a tempestuous relationship: "But will someone find me swinging from the rafters / I’m hanging on your every word."

"Fair Game", where Furler sings "Watch me squirm baby, but you're just what I need," is a minimalist and string-laden song about the desire to find an equal partner. The solo version of "Elastic Heart", which originally featured The Weeknd and Diplo on the Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack, is a tremendously impacting trap song.[5] The song addresses "the overwhelming strength [Sia] needed to convince herself that life was worth living after coming out of a crushing relationship." "Free the Animal" lyrically "imagines being killed in lurid, masochistic detail" with the lyrics "Detonate me / Shoot me like a cannon ball / Granulate me / Kill me like an animal." The tenth song, "Fire Meet Gasoline", was compared to Beyoncé's track "Halo" by Harriet Gibsone from The Guardian. "Cellophane" is an electropop track, where Furler likens herself to "a basket filled with pain." 1000 Forms of Fear concludes with "Dressed in Black", which Heather Phares of AllMusic described as a ballad "with more depth than the ones she writes for hire."

Singles Edit

  • "Chandelier" served as the record's lead promotional single.[6] It was released to digital retailers onto the iTunes Stores on March 17, 2014. The music video for the track was released on May 6, 2014; it features the former Dance Moms dancer Maddie Ziegler in a blonde wig. The single gained massive commercial success, peaking at number eight on the US Billboard Hot 100, becoming the first single by Furler to appear on the chart as a lead artist.[7] "Chandelier" also peaked within the top five of record charts in Europe and Oceania countries, including: Flanders and France (number one), Australia and Norway (number two), New Zealand (number three), United Kingdom (number six), and Slovakia (number five).[8][9] The track was certified triple platinum by the Australian Recording Industry Association and gold by Recorded Music NZ.[10][11]
  • "Eye of the Needle" was released digitally on June 3, 2014 as a promotional single. while "Big Girls Cry" was made available for download on June 25. "Elastic Heart" was released as the fourth single from 1000 Forms of Fear in January 2015. A music video for the song was released on 7 January 2015 and features Ziegler and actor Shia LaBeouf.[12] "Elastic Heart" peaked at number 17 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and charted within the top five charts of several countries, including Australia and Ireland.[13] On April 2, 2015, the music video for "Big Girls Cry" was released. "Fire Meet Gasoline" was officially released as a single in Germany on June 19, 2015.

Critical reception Edit

1000 Forms of Fear received mostly positive reviews from music critics. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalisedrating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received the average score of 76, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", based on 28 reviews. The Boston Globe critic Sarah Rodman described the release as "dynamite," while Heather Phares from AllMusic called the album "the sound of [Sia] owning her success." Writing for The Daily Telegraph, Helen Brown praised the album's high production and "inspirational" lyrics showcasing Furler struggling to deal with sensitive topics such as drug addiction and bipolar disorder. Rolling Stone's Julianne Escobedo Shepherd simply just wrote that "she sounds like a superstar;" while Maura Johnston of Spin characterised 1000 Forms of Fear as "a chunk of the human emotional spectrum committed to record." On the behalf of The New York Times, Jon Pareles lauded the "loopy, unresolved passions" on the album in favour of "the triumphal, laminated, computer-perfected tone of Sia’s clients."

Writing for Slant Magazine, Annie Galvin opined that 1000 Forms of Fear "should be the vessel that rockets the singer out of relative obscurity and into the stratosphere populated by those more recognizable stars who've come to dominate the pop-music universe thanks, in part, to her songwriting skills." Mikael Wood writing for the Los Angeles Times praised Sia's vocals and the production held by Greg Kurstin.  Likewise, Entertainment Weekly's Adam Markovitz positively viewed Sia's voice as "astonishing," giving the album a B score.

On a less enthusiastic review, The Guardian Harriet Gibsone shared that the album was so impeccable and "contemporary-sounding" that "its impact may fade with time." The A.V. Club writer Annie Zaleski wrote: "1000 Forms of Fear certainly has the songs and contemporary sheen to make Sia a star in her own right, but it's at the expense of both her emotional intimacy and her offbeat personality."[14]

Accolades Edit

Sarah Rodman of The Boston Globe labelled 1000 Forms of Fear the "Best Surprise" of 2014.[15] It ranked number 13 on Digital Spy's list of Top 15 Albums of 2014.[16] Jon Pareles from The New York Times placed the album at number 5 on his list of favourite albums of the year.[17] It also appeared on the lists of the best albums of 2014 of Slant Magazine (number 13[18]) and The Daily Telegraph (number 44[19]). Rolling Stone ranked it number 20 on its list of 20 Best Pop Albums of 2014.[20] At the ARIA Music Awards of 2014, Furler won Album of the Year, Best Female Artist and Best Pop Release for 1000 Forms of Fear.[21] The lead single "Chandelier" received four Grammy nominations for Song of the Year, Record of the Year, Best Pop Solo Performance and Best Music Video at the 57th Grammy Awards.[22]

Commercial performance Edit

Charts Edit

Weekly charts Edit

Chart (2014–15) Peak


Australian Albums (ARIA) 1
Austrian Albums (Ö3 Austria) 19
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Flanders) 34
Belgian Albums (Ultratop Wallonia) 10
Canadian Albums (Billboard) 1
Danish Albums (Hitlisten) 5
Dutch Albums (MegaCharts) 22
Finnish Albums (Suomen virallinen lista) 9
French Albums (SNEP) 8
German Albums (Offizielle Top 100) 30
Ireland (IRMA) 12
Italian Albums (FIMI) 33
Japanese Albums (Oricon) 55
Mexican Albums (AMPROFON) 48
New Zealand Albums (RMNZ) 4
Norwegian Albums (VG-lista) 2
Polish Albums (ZPAV) 7
Spanish Albums (PROMUSICAE) 30
Swedish Albums (Sverigetopplistan) 4
Swiss Albums (Schweizer Hitparade) 4
UK Albums (OCC) 5
US Billboard 200 1


Year-end charts Edit

Chart (2014) Position
Australian Albums Chart 34
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) 82
Swedish Albums Chart 69
Swiss Albums Chart 75
US Billboard 200 131
Chart (2015) Position
Australian Albums (ARIA) 14
Belgian Albums Chart (Wallonia) 50
US Billboard 200 40

Certifications and sales Edit

Region Certification Sales/shipments
Australia (ARIA) Platinum 70,000
Canada (Music Canada) Gold 40,000^
France (SNEP) Platinum 100,000
Poland (ZPAV) 2× Platinum 40,000
Sweden (GLF) Platinum 40,000^
United Kingdom (BPI) Gold 122,019[23]
United States (RIAA) Gold 500,000^
  • sales figures based on certification alone^shipments figures based on certification alone

Track listing Edit

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Chandelier" Sia · Jesse Shatkin Shatkin · Greg Kurstin 3:37
2. "Big Girls Cry" Sia · Christopher Braide Kurstin · Braide (vocal) 3:32
3. "Burn the Pages" Sia · Kurstin Kurstin 3:16
4. "Eye of the Needle" Sia · Braide Kurstin 4:10
5. "Hostage" Sia · Nick Valensi Kurstin 2:56
6. "Straight for the Knife" Sia · Justin Parker Kurstin 3:32
7. "Fair Game" Sia · Kurstin Kurstin 3:52
8. "Elastic Heart" Sia · Diplo · Andrew Swanson Diplo · Kurstin 4:18
9. "Free the Animal" Sia · Kurstin · Jasper Leak Kurstin 4:52
10. "Fire Meet Gasoline" Sia · Kurstin · Samuel Dixon Kurstin 4:02
11. "Cellophane" Sia · Kurstin Kurstin 4:26
12. "Dressed in Black" Sia · Kurstin · Grant Michaels Kurstin 6:41
Total length: 48:41
Japan bonus tracks[24]
13. "Chandelier" (piano version) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin 4:00
14. "Chandelier" (Four Tet remix) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin · Four Tet (remix) 4:30
Total length: 57:11
French bonus tracks[25]
13. "Chandelier" (piano version) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin 4:00
14. "Chandelier" (Owlle version) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin · France Picoulet 4:18
15. "Chandelier" (Four Tet remix) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin · Four Tet (remix) 4:30
Total length: 1:01:29
Deluxe edition bonus tracks[26]
13. "Chandelier" (piano version) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin 4:00
14. "Elastic Heart" (piano version) Sia Kurstin · Diplo 4:10
15. "Chandelier" (Four Tet remix) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin · Four Tet (remix) 4:30
16. "Chandelier" (Plastic Plates remix) Sia Shatkin · Kurstin 4:23
17. "Elastic Heart" (Clams Casino remix) Sia · Pentz · Swanson Kurstin · Diplo 5:19
18. "Elastic Heart" (Blood Diamonds remix) Sia Kurstin · Diplo 5:07
19. "Big Girls Cry" (Odesza remix) Sia Kurstin · Braide 4:21
20. "Big Girls Cry" (Bleachers remix) Sia Kurstin · Braide 4:04
Total length: 1:24:35

References Edit

  1. Whitehill, Gabey (13 September 2013). "Sia confirms release of fifth studio album in March, 2014". Gigwise. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  2. Renshaw, David (17 February 2015). "Sia reveals early details of brand new album 'This Is Acting'". NME. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  3. [Kletnoy, Sergio (7 July 2014). "SIA Interview - '1000 Forms of Fear' Album". Elle. Retrieved 2015-12-23.
  24. "シーアの「1000 Forms of Fear (Japan Version)」を iTunes で" (in Japanese). iTunes. Accessed on 2016-01-26.
  25. "100 Forms of Fear de Sia sur iTunes" (in French). iTunes. Accessed on 2016-02-26.
  26. "1000 Forms of Fear (Deluxe Version) by Sia on iTunes". iTunes. Accessed on 2016-01-26.