sia


V.24 No.51 | 12/17/2015
Sia - Cheap Thrills

Sia's new song "Cheap Thrills" should be a Rihanna song

What's Rihanna's deal with turning down decent songs?

Last Thursday, Sia released a single “Cheap Thrills,” the first we’ve heard of her since last year’s album 1000 Forms of Fear. The song was originally written for Rihanna, who turned it down in the end. As Sia said in an interview with Rolling Stone, “I realized just as soon as I was cutting it that it sounded a little bit too Brit-pop for her. It’s more Icona Pop.”

Well, Sia and Grimes now have something in common. In 2014 Grimes released “Go,” a song originally written for Rihanna that she rejected. Grimes decided to make the song herself instead, a respectable “waste not, want not” approach to songwriting—but with, overall, an unimpressive effect. While “Go” is instrumentally interesting, it sticks out like a sore thumb in the context of Grimes’ oeuvre. It sounds, for a good reason, like a Rihanna song performed by Grimes.

Similarly, “Cheap Thrills” is less exciting than what I was expecting next from Sia. It’s a dancefloor gem, with a steady beat and lots of “all hail the weekend” party lyrics — but it’s so lyrically boring that I just can’t get into it. Sia has a knack for slipping razor-sharp commentary into dancy pop gems (see “Chandelier” and “Buttons”), but it’s just not present in “Cheap Thrills.” The ultimate point of the song is “I don’t need a lot of money to have fun!” which, sung by Rihanna (who, if you recall, last made the charts with a track called “Bitch Better Have My Money”), would actually be kind of interesting. But from Sia, it just sounds like fluff.

I’m just hoping that somebody could get in touch with Rihanna’s people and tell them to stop turning down awesome material from great writers? Please, it’ll help the careers of everybody involved.

V.22 No.39 | 9/26/2013

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