1000 Forms of Fear

Music review by
Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media
1000 Forms of Fear Music Poster Image
Popular with kids
Emotional ballads and power anthems deal with mature themes.

Parents say

age 16+
Based on 2 reviews

Kids say

age 12+
Based on 16 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

On "Burn the Pages," Sia tries to help a friend move on after a relationship ends with lyrics such as "Yesterday's gone, and you will be OK / Place your past into a book / Burn the pages, let 'em cook." Her track "Big Girls Cry" lets girls know that it's alright to feel vulnerable and emotional when a relationship is over, but Sia also acknowledges that she'll move past the heartbreak with "You won't see me fall apart / 'Cause I've got an elastic heart." 

Positive Role Models & Representations

Sia has been open about her past, which includes struggles with alcohol and prescription pills, which she overcame. She decided to take a break from the spotlight to write songs for other artists including big names such as Britney SpearsBeyonce, and Lea Michele before releasing 1000 Forms of Fear. Sia's tracks "Burn the Pages" and "Elastic Heart" remind her listeners to be strong and resilient in the face of a breakup. 


Sia uses plenty of violent imagery on 1000 Forms of Fear to describe the toxic love she's experienced in relationships. Sia tells her lover to "Put [her] in cuffs, lock [her] up," and on "Straight for the Knife" she sings, "You went straight for the knife / And I prepared to die / Your blade, it shines / Looked me straight in the eye / You turned the gas on high / Held the flame alight / You wonder why I'm scared of fire." Her lover knows her weak spots and won't hesitate to hurt her. "Free the Animal" takes "loving you to death" to an extreme when Sia begs, "Detonate me / Shoot me like a cannonball / Granulate me / Kill me like an animal / Decapitate me / Hit me like a baseball."


There are a few references to sex and hooking up. Sia sings, "I'm the one 'for a good time call' / Phone's blowin' up, they're ringing my doorbell / I feel the love, I feel the love" and mentions that she "wore pretty underwear hoping you might take it off."


The music video for "Chandelier" features Maddy Ziegler from Dance Moms. Also, the song "Elastic Heart," which features The Weeknd and was produced by Diplo, was included in the The Hunger Games: Catching Fire soundtrack.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Sia has been open about her past, which includes struggles with alcohol and prescription pills. "Chandelier" includes plenty of references to drinking to numb the pain such as "throw 'em back 'til I lose count," "keep my glass full until morning light," and the repetitive "one, two, three, one, two, three, drink." She sings, "It's lonely at the top / Blackouts and airplanes / I still pour you a glass of champagne" and "Look at me, I'm such a basket case / While I fall apart, you hide all my pills again" on "Big Girls Cry" and "Cellophane." 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that 1000 Forms of Fear is a dark pop album by Australian artist Sia that explores her past struggles with alcohol, prescription pills, and destructive love. There isn't any profanity in her songs, but she does use violent and graphic imagery to describe some of her toxic relationships with lyrics such as, "Detonate me / Shoot me like a cannonball / Granulate me / Kill me like an animal / Decapitate me / Hit me like a basketball," and "You went straight for the knife / And I prepared to die." There are a few sexual references in her songs such as, "I'm the one 'for a good time call' / Phone's blowin' up, they're ringing my door bell" and "wore pretty underwear hoping you might take it off." Sia's been open about her past addictions; album opener "Chandelier" describes using sex and alcohol to avoid loneliness and sadness, and "Cellophane" directly addresses her pill addiction.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of a 13, 13, 14, and 16-year-old Written byDio fry February 27, 2019
Adult Written byraynem April 22, 2015
Too many things that are not suitable for children , and sexual themes in songs. Not an ideal role model.
Teen, 16 years old Written bykersplat February 16, 2021

Mature album is catchy and comforting, but has a somewhat overproduced sound

As I was wetting my feet in music outside of the classical genre for the first time I came across this album. The songs are dark and moody, but it is good for m... Continue reading

What's the story?

1000 FORMS OF FEAR is Sia's sixth full-length studio album, released four years after she decided to stop creating music for herself, partly because she's uncomfortable with fame, and instead focus on writing songs for other artists. Some of her hits include Rihanna's "Diamonds," David Guetta's "Titanium," and Flo Rida's "Wild Ones." Although she's chosen unconventional methods to promote her album -- performing with her back to audiences on national television and letting dancers interpret her songs -- this reluctant pop star has offered her listeners a candid look into her past struggles and fears.

Is it any good?

Sia may be uncomfortable with fame, but her album is full of hits. "Chandelier" and the upbeat, guitar-driven "Hostage" mask the dark lyrics of addiction, while the emotional ballads "Big Girls Cry," "Eye of the Needle," and "Straight for the Knife" detail the pain and anguish of heartbreak or a lover who knows exactly how to hurt her. Some of the strongest moments occur on the Diplo-produced power anthem "Elastic Heart" and the explosive "Fire Meet Gasoline." However, the dramatic "Cellophane" best displays Sia's incredible vocal range as she acknowledges that she's "fallen through the cracks, without your love tonight." The powerful "Dressed in Black" finds her ultimately triumphing over her 1000 Forms of Fear.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the relationships that Sia sings about especially on "Straight for the Knife" and "Free the Animal." Why do you think she's chosen to include so much violent imagery in these songs?

  • How do the songs on Sia's album compare to the hits that she's written for other artists?

  • What do you think of the way Sia has chosen to promote her album? Why do you think she's afraid of fame?

Music details

  • Artist: Sia
  • Release date: July 8, 2014
  • Type: Album
  • Label: Monkey Puzzle Records
  • Genre: Pop
  • Parental advisory: No
  • Edited version available: No
  • Last updated: November 11, 2020

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