...The album sashays through an undulating world of emotion...
Paul Sullivan 2007-05-25
Known primarily in the chill out/dance world for her superlative appearances on albums by UK bands Zero 7 and Massive Attack, Australian chanteuse Sia Furler has enjoyed a healthy amount of success on her own, notably with solo albums such as 2000’s Healing Is Difficult (Sony) and 2003’s Colour The Small One.
Having raised her profile still further with the hauntingly beautiful “Breathe Me,” (used in the final scene of the Six Feet Under series), Sia recently completed a sell-out tour of the States, re-released Colour The Small One and also found time to record a new live album: Lady Croissant.
Recorded at NYC’s famed Bowery Ballroom, Lady Croissant features eight songs plucked from Sia’s own albums and the Zero 7 catalogue, and also includes her recent collaboration with Dan Carey, “Pictures,” - which kicks the album off in heartfelt style.
From this soaring opener, the album sashays through an undulating world of emotion where a, by turns, languorous and assertive soundtrack is matched by Sia’s own impassioned vocal style. A rousing (and highly distinctive) rendition of “Don’t Bring Me Down,” a surprisingly faithful version of "Destiny" - one of her finest moments, despite the fact she wasn't scheduled to be the original vocalist - and the potent, if strangely-titled song “Lentil,” are all executed with an appealing mixture of frankness and fluidity.
“I Go To Sleep,” - a Pretender’s classic - proves a wonderful choice for a cover, being well suited to Sia’s range and style; and her renditions of “Breathe Me” and the finale “Distractions,” (another classic Zero 7 moment) also leave positive impressions of her live capabilities.
But though Lady Croissant reveals the fuller breadth of Sia’s vocal versatility, the ardent perfectionism of the band and lack of audience ‘atmosphere’ (there’s just a few handclaps between songs) prevent the album feeling overly much like a ‘live’ experience.
For newcomers to Sia’s work, this is no impediment whatsoever to enjoying the record. Those who already know, love and own the featured songs may find it difficult to justify adding Lady Croissant to their collection.