"This Is Acting", the seventh studio album by the hesitant pop star, Sia, has a very clever concept. The record is made-up of songs the Australian songwriter wrote with other pop artists in mind but were rejected. The idea to use material that superstars like Rihanna, Beyoncé and Adele passed on doesn't seem encouraging yet Sia appears inspired and brings these songs to life with her own unique style. Produced with fellow hitmakers, Greg Kurstin and Jesse Shatkin, the songs feel less glossy than if those other vocalists had performed them but are no less potent.
One of the highlights is "One Million Bullets", an original song that was never offered to anyone else. Sia delivers her reliably fiery passion that makes this track all her own:
"One Million Bullets" - Sia (2016) mp3
Anti", Rihanna has made a radical departure from the dance-powered pop that first brought her fame. With no apparent concern for musical trends, the new music reflects a much more personal side than what we're used to hearing from the performer. She has collaborated with some rising production talent like Boi-1da, Hit-boy and DJ Mustard to help guide her in a new direction with more of an emphasis on edgier alt-soul and dancehall. Not all of the songs are successful and there aren't many obvious pop singles to be found here but Rihanna is attempting to grow as an artist, making a creatively adventurous work that should definitely be heard.
For the first single, "Work" (that features Drake), there are two different music videos for the track. One is set at a Jamaican dance hall party with the young crowd enjoying weed and jerk chicken, The other is just Rihanna and Drake, in a tacky living room, bumping and grinding on each other. Here are both videos together so you can watch them and decide which one you like best:
After taking a hiatus in 2013 which resulted with two members ultimately leaving the band, the British alt-rock group, Bloc Party has returned with their fifth album, "Hymns". New band-mates, Justin Harris on bass and drummer, Louise Bartle join Russell Lissack on guitar and lead vocalist/guitarist, Kele Okereke on music that moves closer towards dance and electronic sounds. Okereke explains that he was inspired by religious hymns and symbolism which resulted with an abstract spirituality moving throughout the record.
Take a look at the fun video for the first single, "The Love Within":
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