Music Review: Sia soars with first solo album in 8 years, ‘Reasonable Woman’

A whole album of Sia singing alone is great — great, don’t get us wrong — but Sia paired with the icon Chaka Khan? Fire. Their new duet “Immortal Queen” is everything you’d want in a combo of Sia and Khan — dueling soaring voices, preening egos and insane lyrics about time travel and robot servants.

“In one thousand million years/I’mma still be everywhere,” they sing. “Before planet Earth was here/I was riding a lightyear.” To which we bow and say: Yas, queens.

“Immortal Queen,” out Friday, is just one of the highlights of the super 15-track “Reasonable Woman,” Sia’s first solo album since 2016 and following her work on the movie “Sing,” a Christmas album, her writing for others like David Guetta and Pink, and the supergroup album “LSD.”

Sia hasn’t lost a step, apparently able to write three bangers before breakfast. The new solo album is packed with the Australian’s trademark mix of tropical pop, hip-hop, house and a hint of ska, combed with her distinctive, sky-high voice and ear for the bombastic.

It also contains her songwriter’s ability to switch from hurt and broken (”I Forgive You”) to ecstatic lover (“Towards the Sun”) to vengeful, hell-releasing angel, like on “I Had a Heart,” with the lyrics “You lost me to cruelty/You questioned my beauty/Counting my calories.” The song “Little Wing” sounds like Sia counseling a former mentee who has hit a bad patch: “Keep trying/I know soon you’ll be flying.”

But on this outing, the ever-masked, forever catchy Sia is most interesting with others. In addition to the Khan duet, the best songs are “Dance Alone” with Kylie Minogue, “Incredible” with Labrinth and “Fame Won’t Love You” with Paris Hilton, two famous women complaining that “fame won’t love you like a mother, like a father should.”

Sia leans on a frequent collaborator, songwriter-producer Jesse Shatkin, who together made the megahit “Chandelier,” and the albums “Music” and “This Is Acting.” They flirt with Bollywood in “One Night” and hip-hop with “Champion” alongside vocal guests Tierra Whack, Kaliii and Jimmy Jolliff. Greg Kurstin, co-wrote and produced four tracks, while Benny Blanco helps produce the burst of sunshine that is “Go On.”

It’s not unreasonable to say “Reasonable Woman” is the sound of a comfortable Sia rarely shifting out of third gear, but note: Her third gear is way higher than most artists ever dream about.


Mark Kennedy is at

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