Some People Have Real Problems
Australian Sia Furler is best known for her work with chill out collective Zero 7, but has also held the reigns of a modest solo career without ever seriously looking like troubling the heavyweights. Her star turn on the blunted post millennial classic Destiny appeared to usher in a new folk tinged back to mine aesthetic, but whilst fellow Sevener Sophie Barker's 2006 debut Earthbound was a mostly acoustic suite of confessional self doubt, her compatriot has chosen to steer an unadventurous course through country tinged soul. Fuller's main asset, her voice - a bluesy honk reminiscent of the Cocteau Twins Liz Fraser - is also her Achilles heel, for whilst there's ample evidence of its versatility, there's also a cavalcade of overwrought syllable mangling which at times necessitates access to a translator. Her third album,
Some People Have Real Problems showcases decisions suffering from atrophy, never better demonstrated here than by a timid choice of cover version - The Pretenders I Go To Sleep, sounding even drowsier than the original - and a glut of saccharine ballads as pedestrian as they're uninventive. It does have it's moments; the up-tempo stomp of The Girl You Lost To Cocaine provides a sassy morality fable, Academia is as lyrically bonkers as anything from Roisin Murphy's hyper extended lexicon and the climax of Electric Bird, with it's Bond theme brass filler is a mildly diverting pastiche, but elsewhere moments of inspiration are hard to find. Look on the bright side though; at least the mother's day present problem is solved.