Reasonable Woman

Reasonable Woman

Sia Furler’s first proper solo album in eight years is a stunning journey through rapidly shifting moods and modes. Many of the songs end abruptly, then give way to something almost polar opposite in vibe. Observe how the triumphant “Champion”—featuring rappers Tierra Whack and Kaliii and a parting message from writer Jimmy Jolliff—leads straight into the redemption-granting piano ballad “I Forgive You.” Such stark contrasts are all over Reasonable Woman, which sees Furler work closely with producers/co-writers Jesse Shatkin and Greg Kurstin amidst a wide cast of guests. Funk icon Chaka Khan updates her signature swagger on “Immortal Queen,” while Kylie Minogue drops in for the big, brash “Dance Alone.” Labrinth lends glossily cool singing to the subtly stuttered and distorted “Incredible,” ROSALÍA co-writes the devastating romantic postmortem “I Had a Heart,” and Paris Hilton sings what she knows so well against the nostalgic synth-pop of “Fame Won’t Love You.” But those memorable cameos never threaten to eclipse Furler’s unique approach, from brassy vocal climbs and left-field hooks to sparse, clapping beats. There’s a strong confessional quality throughout, culminating in the resilience anthem “Go On” and then the closing “Rock and Balloon,” an unguarded account of how love might conquer even the deepest depression.

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