Sia, ‘Free Me’ | Track Review
Sia is an exceptional songwriter – no disputing this in the least. Furthermore, she’s a captivating artist in her own right. Once again, she works her magic on a gorgeous new single, “Free Me.” “Free Me” isn’t a promo single for an upcoming album. Rather, it’s a benefit single for the ending HIV campaign. The specifics behind this single – lyrics and purpose – only build the case for its exceptionalness.
“Free Me” commences with incredible simplicity, accompanied initially by only piano. Clearly, this simplicity is meant to place emphasis on voice and lyrics. Indeed, it does, as Sia delivers a sincere performance that highlights her instrument and the powerful words she singing. From the jump, the authenticity shines through.
“I don’t want to hold your gaze / I’m scared what I might see there / Found myself in this place / and I’m a burning fire.”
Heavy. She continues on the pre-chorus to clarify the narrative:
“Peace may come / I hope it won’t take long / Just a faith I cannot see / Bring me home / I’m in here all along / Just me and my melody.”
On the chorus, her vocals are harmonized, adding more emotion to the heartfelt lyrics and message. Clearly, Sia, who portrays the portrait of a woman who is HIV positive, doesn’t want the disease to destroy her.
“So free me / Oh free me / From this pain I’ve been running from / I’m tired and I’m free falling / Free me / Oh free me / From this shame I’ve been running from / I’m lost and I am calling you.”
Some additional instrumentation follows the first chorus – strings and bass.
By the end, “Free Me” percolates to its grandest, demarcated by a key change and the strings reaching their highest of heights. At this point, the expressiveness of Sia’s voice also reaches its peak, with her signature cracks adding nuance and even more conviction. Sia makes the listener feel the pain of which she sings. In this particular song, it’s the effects of being HIV positive (the video accentuates this point even more).
Does Sia nail it on “Free Me?” By all means. Vocally, she’s never sounded better, capturing the sentiment of the grief perfectly. To quote Al Green, “simply beautiful.”