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Sia and Her Karate Pro Battle Shadow Demons and Survive in her “Alive” Visual, But Does it Live Up to Expectations?

Sia hires a new mini-me for her “Alive” music video, but does it hold a candle to the work of Maddie Ziegler?

Pop superstar (who is incredibly famous despite never showing her face) Sia is gearing up for a new era of music!  The “Chandelier” songstress is releasing a new album titled This Is Acting early next year, and she has shared the music to prove it.  Earlier this week Sia unveiled the project’s second track “Bird Set Free,” but today the focus is on lead single “Alive” and it’s new music video.

After watching Dance Moms star Maddie Ziegler don her platinum bob and nude bodysuit for a trio of hugely emotional music videos last era expectations are understandably high for Sia’s visuals.  They tend to exude a sense of intimate, raw emotion that resonates with humanity’s fragile nature.  This time around Sia has replaced Maddie’s frantic antics for the karate stylings of a young brave heart, and the result is decent, but it doesn’t evoke quite the same sense of connection.

Our favorite platinum bob has evolved and is taking inspiration from Cruella de Vil for a new era of music.  New year, new me; and this time our young karate pro is rocking a perfectly divided black and white bob.  Is it a reference to the duality of Sia’s presence on tracks intended for other artists, some type of proof that this really wasn’t intended for her to perform?  Is it a reference to a new “Sia state,” or did Sia just get bored and want to change up the look?  Who knows, but regardless this is pretty much the extent of evolution between eras (beyond a new performer) so it is worth noting.

Rocking

Set in an abandoned parking garage, “Alive” becomes the theme song for a young girl to battle her shadow demons.  The child is dressed in a traditional karategi with a black belt to showcase her superior training status, and she fluidly moves between various poses.  There is a controlled grace and beauty to the movements as the young girl passionately fights to rise above the burnt out destruction around her.

While Sia’s “Alive” music video lacks some of the raw emotion that made “Chandelier” and “Elastic Heart” instant classics, the visual still packs a resounding amount of power.  There is less of a broken down struggle for survival (perfectly encapsulated by Maddie Ziegler’s frantic choreography); however, a deep rooted sense of conviction remains.  A sense of triumph also exists within the visual that is unfamiliar after the 1000 Forms of Fear era, but herein lies part of the issue.  Sia still depicts our young protagonist battling invisible demons, but the visual feels more cute than impressive.

It feels almost kitschy in a way that previous attempts haven’t.  You felt for Maddie’s character in the previous videos, so much so that you wanted to reach into the screen to help her.  Now you have simply been relegated to the role of observer.  Sia’s live performances may breathe an additional sense of life into the music, but this video falls a little flat.

What do you think about Sia’s newest effort?  Let us know!