sat 16/12/2017

CD: Sia - Everyday Is Christmas | reviews, news & interviews

CD: Sia - Everyday Is Christmas

CD: Sia - Everyday Is Christmas

Well-made and enjoyable hokum from a giant of contemporary pop

Too much Baileys can do this

Sia is a 21st century pop behemoth, an unstoppable figure who, despite no longer wishing to take part in the increasingly visual aspects of our social media age, still maintains a top-flight career. The best of her output hits the Venn diagram sweet spot where ear-bud phone-pop crosses over with wit and canny thinking. She’s not this writer’s bag – with the exception of Katy Perry’s smasher, “Chained to the Rhythm”, which she co-wrote – so it’s all the more of a surprise that her Christmas album proves such an endearing proposition.

Everyday Is Christmas was created with another contemporary pop juggernaut, producer Greg Kurstin, her longterm collaborator, who’s also worked with a who’s who of girl-pop, from Adele to P!nk. The pair of them clearly had a lot of fun making this album. They’ve said so, and it comes over in spades. Christmas seems to have set them free from the usual demands of pop, so they can just have a gas. Check “Snowman”, for instance, a stand-out track built round a delicious piano motif and shuffling, brushed jazz drums, with lyrics such as "A puddle of water can't hold me close, baby" sung passionately and straight.

There’s a certain amount of cap-tipping to the classic Yuletide Spector template, notably the bell-laden “Candy Cane Lane”, but then his 1963 A Christmas Gift to You From Philles Records now defines what a Christmas record is, so that’s fine (the ludicrous “Puppies Are Forever” also deserves a mention in this context). Sia, however, combines it with her very 2017 talent for self-empowerment ballads, epically so on the album’s three final songs, “Underneath the Mistletoe”, “Underneath the Christmas Lights” and the title track.

Christmas songs’ acceptance into the canon is a matter of yearly repetition so it’s impossible to say now whether any of these will eventually make the grade, but the boozy, stomping, mega-jolly “Ho Ho Ho” is among those here that deserves a place. “Ho! Ho! Ho! It don’t get better than this/Ho! Ho! Ho! In the land of misfits.” Yes, indeed.

Overleaf: Watch the sing-along video for Sia "Santa's Coming For Us"

Christmas seems to have set Sia and Greg Kurstin free from the usual demands of pop, so they can just have a gas

rating

Editor Rating: 
3
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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