Sia’s “Chandelier”

All right! Back to the jams!

I’ve been itching to do this one for a while now. I like Sia, and I really like this song.

Before we start, here are a couple of things to mention:

  • Sia Furler is a 38 year-old Australian-born singer/songwriter, who started out as an Indie darling and has since exploded into the mainstream pop world on such tracks as “Wild Ones” and “Titanium.” Recently, she has written much with and for other people, collaborating with David Guetta, Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Beyonce, among many notable others.

 

 

  • The dancer is Maddie Ziegler, a contestant from yet another show about moms living vicariously through their children, wearing a “Sia” wig. No, I am not passing judgment on her as a person or a dancer, or people who watch the show. I’m just not crazy about the whole Toddlers in Tiaras trend for a number of reasons, so I don’t watch shows like that. I did see Honey Boo-Boo once out of morbid curiosity, and I swore never again.

 

And…that’s about all we need to know, so let’s move on to my review of the song and video.

Unlike with “Birthday,” my first time hearing the song was while watching the official video. Therefore, I shall talk about both. Don’t worry, though. I won’t take long. 🙂

Here is the official video, for your convenience:

 

 

Here are the lyrics, for double the convenience:

“Party girls don’t get hurt

Can’t feel anything, when will I learn
I push it down, push it down

I’m the one “for a good time call”
Phone’s blowin’ up, ringin’ my doorbell
I feel the love, feel the love

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back, till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight

Sun is up, I’m a mess
Gotta get out now, gotta run from this
Here comes the shame, here comes the shame

1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink
1, 2, 3 1, 2, 3 drink

Throw ’em back till I lose count

I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier
I’m gonna live like tomorrow doesn’t exist
Like it doesn’t exist
I’m gonna fly like a bird through the night, feel my tears as they dry
I’m gonna swing from the chandelier, from the chandelier

And I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Help me, I’m holding on for dear life, won’t look down won’t open my eyes
Keep my glass full until morning light, ’cause I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
‘Cause I’m just holding on for tonight
Oh I’m just holding on for tonight
On for tonight
On for tonight”

 

Quick First Impressions:

“That leotard makes the girl look naked. Must be symbolism!”

“This reminds me of when I tried ballet as a kid. Except maybe the bugging eyes.”

“…Sia sounds a bit different this time around. What is with the Elmer Fudd and Rihanna impressions?”

“I hope that chandelier can hold her. If it doesn’t, she won’t be living ‘like tomorrow doesn’t exist’ for much longer…Personally, I’d go for the one from Phantom of the Opera.”

 

Actual “Thoughtful” Analysis:

In many song reviews, I will distinguish the singer from the “character,” as many songs are stories, or are written and produced by multiple people (this particular song definitely has the latter trait, if nothing else). Whether or not he or she is the “author avatar” is ultimately irrelevant, unless I’m review the singer/songwriter as a whole.

On the surface, “Chandelier” seems like just another “party like it’s no tomorrow” song. Like “DJ Got US Fallin’ in Love,” or pretty much any Ke$ha or Pitbull song. Not as pop-y, no rap cameos, and the singer feels genuinely and naturally talented (a rare occurrence), but the same basic principle. Nothing special, right?

What it really sounds like, when you get right down to it, is a cry for help. The verses reflect exhaustion, especially the second, shorter set, as the character seems to be enduring an almost robotic series of actions on repeat, literally going through the motions of partying again and again. She clearly feels like she has to. It looks like an addiction, no doubt escaping and/or covering up something in her regular, mundane life that is unpleasant. Stifling.

The chorus then explodes with a mighty surge; a veritable “Let It Go” moment, in which determination (or, more likely, desperation) kicks in and the character decides to go all out. What matters is feeling alive in the moment. She’s swinging on a possibly fragile chandelier that could come crashing down at any moment, but that moment is then, “tomorrow.” This is now.

That is what I have gathered.

Is this what it’s like for you, girls who party a lot? Is it so fun, it hurts? Do you keep on doing it anyway?

Who knows?

The nice thing about pop music (like having kids with talent, and unfulfilled dreams and parental frustration from your own childhood) is that you can live through it. Not a partier? Well then, don’t you worry! You can experience all the ups and downs of fame, popularity, partying, etc. by scanning Pandora and listening for half an hour.

The music itself is awesome, if a little melancholy at times. It’s like a good version of “We Can’t Stop,” in which being depressing was intentional. And yet it didn’t ruin the fun.

Not sure why it sounds like she’s keeping her lips puckered though. It didn’t add anything from the song for me, aside from confusion, but it doesn’t lower my ranking either.

For the video…

I wasn’t kidding when I said it reminded me of when I tried ballet as a little kid. My parents can tell you how I stood in the corner during class, off in my own little world, mimicking what I thought ballet looked like. I honestly have no idea what I was thinking back then, but needless to say, I quickly moved on to trying out other potential hobbies XD

The dancing is mesmerizing and certainly takes talent, but I maintain that a decent chunk of it looks like flailing. Stylized, timed and choreographed flailing, but flailing nonetheless.

 

I can see how it could be interpretive and symbolic, but personally, I think Pink made it work better:

 

The dingy apartment adds to the tone of the song I mentioned above, what with its ratty, minimalist furnishings and dull colors. The only thing that adds energy and life to the scene is, well, Maddie. I also mentioned above that her flesh-colored attire gave me the impression that this was the bared soul of the character, or even a representation of the character’s mind (in which case, Maddie would probably be the brain). Maddie looks like a doll, seeming very creepy at times, but still…

You can’t really look away. It’s definitely haunting.

I could probably dig up more with squinting and cribbing from other reviewers, but I won’t. Right now, I haven’t really looked at other people’s reviews in detail, but the general consensus seems to be “OMG SO GOOD!”

Suffice it to say that I think this song is good. If I gave it a score, for the video and song each, it’d be an 8/10 both times. It’s got a good beat that swells just right when it needs to; hypnotizing, yet simplistic visuals; and near heart-wrenching vocals with some effective mood-whiplash.

I’d say check it out, but if you’ve been following along, you technically already have. So instead, how about you check out some of Sia’s earlier work? 🙂

*Once again, no pics or videos are owned by me. Credit due to singers, songwriters, composers, musicians, studios, etc.

 

 

 

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2 thoughts on “Sia’s “Chandelier””

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    Like

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