There have been very few original Christmas songs in the past two decades that have stood the test of time. It seems that in recent years, popular artists are reluctant to do anything more than cover some of the most heavily-recycled Christmas hits. However, indie pop artist Sia took on the challenge by dropping ten original festive songs in her new album “Everyday is Christmas,” packaged prettily and left under the tree just in time for the holidays. Though her originality is very refreshing, the album as a whole feels a bit repetitive, cheesy for the popular Aussie artist known for her iconic style and one-of-a-kind voice.
Many of the songs, such as “Candy Cane Lane,” “Sunshine,” and “Ho Ho Ho” seem to blend together in one string of bouncy, jingly and frankly mediocre Christmas cheer. Sia’s usually haunting vocals sound somewhat out-of-place amid the background of playful cheery beats, whistling, and sleigh bells. This combination works slightly better in “Santa’s Coming For Us,” when she adds a sort of beachy vibe that better smooths the divide between her powerful voice and the sparkly, sprightly style of the song. Still, this Christmas album is probably doomed to be forgotten simply because Christmas songs are meant to be sung along to, and Sia’s style just does not lend itself to that. Though undeniably talented, Sia is known for a vocal approach of blending her words together in a sort of unique accent that at times makes her lyrics all but completely undiscernible. Her lyrics are hard to understand and even harder to replicate by the average festive listener trying to get into the holiday spirit.
Sia shines brightest when she goes back to the slower, more somber style that she does best. In “Underneath the Christmas Lights,” she produces something beautiful and genuinely emotional, though it is once again nearly impossible to make out the lyrics, few that they are. Another track that can stand up on its own is “Snowman,” a pretty and moody piano ballad about fleeting love. Not to be confused with “Snowflake,” the very next track on the album, which is very similar in style but lacks the wow factor of “Snowman.” The most striking songs on the album are those that retain that haunted mournful sound that Sia does so well, but unfortunately, that is contrary to the sort of emotions most people are looking for in a Yuletide tune.
Though the album is largely fun and lighthearted with a few downright beautiful ballads, it doesn’t seem likely to stand up to the test of time like many of our beloved Christmas classics. Unfortunately, the merry melodies just feel a bit too tacky and conflict with Sia’s vocal style. The tracks that do fully utilize those powerful vocals are too few and far between, and the entire album is just repetitive enough to irritate.