‘Everyday is Christmas’ lacks spirit

Sia’s eighth studio album is downright confusing

ae-Sia-CourtesySia

“Everyday is Christmas” is simply too contradictory, existing in limbo between silly and serious.

Courtesy Sia

Australian singer-songwriter Sia has been making music for over 20 years, but she only recently rose to worldwide recognition after releasing her sixth studio album “1000 Forms of Fear” in 2014. The album — featuring famous tracks such as “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” — established the singer’s identity as a performer. With her face hidden behind an oversized wig, her crooning voice breaking on the high notes and her songs tackling tough topics like addiction and alcoholism, Sia managed to characterize herself as an artist divergent from the earworms that dominate the Top 100 list.

And then she released a Christmas album.

“Everyday is Christmas” is the eighth studio album from Sia and her first attempt at a holiday album. In a “Beats 1” interview with Zane Lowe, Sia revealed that she went into the studio intending to record a mix of original songs and classic Christmas covers. She found the Christmas songwriting process so easy, however, that she wound up with an entirely original 10-track album.

“I just was having so much fun because it’s already there, all of the concepts, you just have to expand on them,” the singer said in the interview. “It’s not like you have to have an original idea to begin with. It’s like, ‘okay, so Christmas, mistletoe, right, okay ho-ho-ho, right okay yeah, Santa Claus, Christmas lists, elves.’ You’ve got all of the subject matter. It was easy and fun, so we did it in two weeks.”

Unfortunately, Sia’s rushed writing process and lack of originality shine through on “Everyday is Christmas.” The album lacks any semblance of direction, as evidenced by the first single of the album, “Santa’s Coming for Us.” The lyrics are a jumbled mix of random Christmas images as Sia sings, “Nights are getting shorter now, hot chocolate / Fills the air and Christmas cheer does, too / Pick a merry old Christmas tree, so lovely / The joy this time here brings to you.”

Likewise, “Candy Cane Lane” has a chorus so silly that it wouldn’t seem out of place at an elementary school holiday concert. Sia sings, “Candy Cane Lane, bring a friend this holiday / Bring a friend who loves to play, we'll eat all the candy canes.” 

If the album maintained this light and upbeat vibe, the album would at least make sense, perhaps targeted toward a younger audience. But alas, it does not. 

Advanced track “Snowman” features a crying snowman as an allegory for a rough patch in a relationship. She sings, “Don't cry, snowman, not in front of me / Who'll catch your tears if you can't catch me, darling / If you can't catch me, darling / Don't cry snowman, don't leave me this way / A puddle of water can’t hold me close, baby.” Meanwhile, the opening of “Ho Ho Ho” calls on Christmas party guests to bring out the rum and cream and whiskey bourbon. These songs are not for children, and the previous songs are not really for adults, so who is this album for?

The confusion surrounding the purpose of this album culminates in arguably the most out of place track on the album — “Puppies Are Forever.” Sia lilts, “Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas / 'Cause they're so cute and fluffy with shiny coats / But will you love 'em when they're old and slow / Puppies are forever, not just for Christmas” in this random track that seems to hint towards her work as an animal rights activist, imploring people to do their research before gifting someone a puppy. This is an important message — sure — but it comes in such an obscure and unexpected place that all meaning is lost in the ludicrousness.

Ultimately, “Everyday is Christmas” is simply too contradictory, existing in limbo between silly and serious. The light, upbeat tracks can’t be taken seriously, and the more somber tracks prevent the album from just being pure fun. In the end, Sia’s initial intentions for the album are totally lost in translation.

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