AOTY 2019

This Is Acting

Sia - This Is Acting
Critic Score
Based on 26 reviews
2016 Ratings: #640 / 763
User Score
Based on 329 ratings
2016 Ratings: #625
January 29, 2016 / Release Date
LP / Format
Inertia, Monkey Puzzle, RCA / Label
Electropop, Pop / Genres
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siamusic.net / Website
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CRITIC REVIEWS

83
A.V. Club
Gone is the uncertainty that still clung to many of her earlier efforts at mainstream pop hits of her own; success has granted her the confidence to dive into the deep end of the mainstream music pool, and the results are potent.
83
Entertainment Weekly
Somehow ... broad strokes suit these songs; Sia’s unabashed aim is uplift, and her feel for sing-along-until-your-neighbor-bangs-on-the-radiator hooks rarely falters.
80
The Line of Best Fit
It’s a brave act on Furler’s part, to stand up and present a body of work that so many other people deemed not good enough, but ultimately, it’s a great collection of pop songs, cynical or not.
80
NME
If you can buy into its concept, Sia’s play-acting is very entertaining indeed.
70
Exclaim!

This Is Acting is a fine follow-up to 1000 Forms of Fear, but doesn't quite present anything extraordinary or new.

70
AllMusic

This Is Acting's meta-pop is another example of how cleverly Sia brings her her experiments into the mainstream.

70
No Ripcord

Every track is a potential hit, and Sia’s use of pure pop hooks, coupled with an astounding control over her rampant voice, makes this a very good record.

68
Pitchfork
In a few short years, Sia has gone from subverting the mainstream to being the mainstream, and in light of that transformation, you'd expect more than a play-by-play recreation of her most recent highlights.
67
Consequence of Sound

Unlike her brashly honest and personal 2014 breakthrough 1000 Forms of Fear, which yielded the glitter-and-guts Grammy-nominated “Chandelier”, This Is Acting partially concedes to emotional detachment.

67
Pretty Much Amazing

This is Acting serves less as another step down her path and more like a look back on all the ground she has covered thus far.

60
Rolling Stone
Sometimes these outtakes feel like, well, outtakes.
60
Slant Magazine
It's the autobiographical, soul-plumbing depths of Sia's songwriting, however, that made her previous efforts feel so immediate, so personal, and ironically, the songs here whose origins have been most widely publicized ... come closest to capturing that potency.
60
Spin
Despite being so joyously engulfed by Sia’s voice, the songs come over as dispossessed orphans, all a variation on that same theme of being lost and held down by overbearing powers and temptations.
60
NOW Magazine
You can imagine any number of today’s pop divas tackling these tunes, and while Furler has insisted she’s “play-acting” by singing the material, she manages to cut through generic themes to inject darker predilections with hard-sung vocals that sound downright masochistic at times.
60
The Guardian

Of course, that’s the problem with formulae: they have a marked tendency to become a bit formulaic. That’s something you suspect Furler, clearly a smart cookie, may have realised. Perhaps This Is Acting is intended as a tying up of loose ends before she tries something different.

60
Billboard

Despite a few highlights, This Is Acting is scattered and forgettable next to the emotional 1000 Forms of Fear.

60
DIY
Too often ‘This is Acting’ is steeped in unimaginative cliche, and leans too heavily on familiar pop tropes in a way that her previous solo albums did not.
60
musicOMH
There are only so many times in 45 minutes you can clench your fists and reach for the sky without it beginning to feel a bit too calculated and contrived. But then, isn’t that what acting is all about?
60
Drowned in Sound

This is Acting has some good tracks on it and is obviously written by a very talented songwriter, it’s just not an album that demands excitement from its listeners.

60
PopMatters

This Is Acting, for all its backstory, rousing highlights, and questionable stylistic choices, actually feels like more of a placeholder than it was probably intended to be.

60
The Independent

It’s a pity there are some disappointing songs here because elsewhere on the record there is real brilliance.

50
Tiny Mix Tapes

She’s built an admirable persona that’s both mask and mirror — maybe next time she can show us something we don’t already know.

40
Clash

It’s obviously understandable to attempt to capitalise upon the success of your best-known hit but on ‘This Is Acting’, Sia loses sight of what made her such an interesting artist in the first place.

dumbmoonlight
75
Don't expect me to rate each track, I'd have to get paid for that, and AllMusic wants nothing to do with me.
In every case, I appreciate how this album is meaningful, even if overly situational to bop to, but it is nice to listen to sometimes, you know? Quite good.
JotaBrasil
78
Não poderia ser de outra pessoa do que da Sia a ideia de fazer um álbum composto basicamente com as músicas descartadas por outros artistas. Além do fato dela ter escrito todas as canções e ainda ser um dos nomes mais requisitados por vários artistas para comporem suas músicas, Sia adotou a estratégia de não mostrar mais o seu rosto em suas aparições, pois ela quer dar ênfase para a sua música e ... read more
oh
70
The lyrics are great.

Bird Set Free - 8/10
Alive - 8.6/10
One Million Bullets - 7/10
Move Your Body - 9/10
Unstoppable - 7/10
Cheap Thrills - 7.5/10
Reaper - 7/10
House On Fire - 6.9/10
Footprints - 6/10
Sweet Design - 8/10
Broken Glass - 4/10
Space Between - 10/10
EMR
34
After a long time running on the side lines, it seems Sia has finally given up on being on the "outside" of mainstream pop. The amazing singer returns with an album that seems to turn her into pretty much everything she refused to represent a few years ago. Of course she had already flirted with mainstream pop by the time the David Guetta singles (She Wolf and Titanium) hit the radios a few years ago, and then complimented the rising pop-star status with the 1000 Forms of Fear album, ... read more
holsgr
33
☆½ ~ Deficient, unsteady and forgettable emptiness. Not my thing.
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MISC LISTS

/The Music Fix

Track List

  1. Bird Set Free
  2. Alive
  3. One Million Bullets
  4. Move Your Body
  5. Unstoppable
  6. Cheap Thrills
  7. Reaper
  8. House On Fire
  9. Footprints
  10. Sweet Design
  11. Broken Glass
  12. Space Between
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Added on: November 3, 2015