Some People Have Real Problems is the third studio effort from Sia, a contributing vocalist for British electronica artists like Jamiroquai and Zero 7. True to the title, it's a collection of flavorless (to the point of phony) pop songs that makes Natalie Imbruglia look as wild and groundbreaking as Iggy Pop. Despite being a vocals-centered disc, most of Sia's lyrics are inaudible; her muddled, half-conscious lines slip out of her mouth like drool. Sadly, the humdrum, faux-sultry blues numbers are almost a relief from more upbeat but lyrically embarrassing tracks like "Academia" (chock-full of subtraction and squared similes) and "Playground" (complete with seesaw symbolism). Problems' instrumental arrangements are equally bland, adding little more than space-filling muzak, save for Sia's rendition of Ray Davies's heart-aching gem "I Go to Sleep." Sia sucks dry every bit of poetic inspiration until the song resembles the rest of this beige-­colored record. When you combine the liner notes' played-out, color-crazy wackiness and retro-pixilated aesthetic with the cringing lack of artistry packaged inside, it becomes clear Sia is simply a waste of time. It's barely 2008, but this painfully homogeneous record might already take the cake for the most boring album of the year.


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