A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Sia's song "Chandelier" is the first single from her sixth studio album, 1000 Forms of Fear. The lyrics describe a girl trying to avoid feelings of sadness, pain, and shame through sex and alcohol. She drinks and parties all night to shield herself from emotions: "Party girls don't get hurt / Can't feel anything, when will I learn / I push it down, push it down." The video for "Chandelier" stars Maddie Ziegler, one of the young dancers from the reality TV show Dance Moms. In the video, Ziegler wears a blond wig and dances in a nude-colored leotard. At the beginning of the video, she is shown in a doorway, from a distance, giving the impression she might be naked, and during one part of her interpretive dance she mimes holding something and throwing her head back as if she were drinking.
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What's the story?
CHANDELIER is the first single from Sia's album 1000 Forms of Fear. The lyrics of this alt-pop/dance song are from the point of view of a girl who uses sex and alcohol to avoid pain -- but when the sun comes up after a long night of partying, she's filled with shame and self-loathing. The lyrics portray her sexual activity this way: "I'm the one 'for a good time call' / phone's blowin' up, they're ringin' my doorbell / I feel the love, I feel the love." Her drinking dominates much of the song: "One, two, three, one, two three, drink / Throw them back 'til I lose count." The singer says she's going to swing from the chandelier, a metaphor for letting loose to mask feelings she tries to "push...down." The official video for "Chandelier" features Maddie Ziegler, an 11-year-old dancer from the reality TV show Dance Moms; her performance illustrates the disturbed and reckless state of the girl in the song.
Is it any good?
On its own, "Chandelier" is an effectively dark alt-pop song about a young woman's disturbing behavior. The dynamics of the song are created in part by Sia's vocal range and by the way her powerful voice is overly processed in some places and used more naturally in others. The song has strong rhythms and an edgy techno arrangement that Sia fans are sure to enjoy. However, the disturbing video and its association of mental illness and destructive behavior with a young girl may distract listeners from hearing the song's message and its underlying potency.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about Maddie Ziegler's performance in the video for "Chandelier." Do you think it's OK for a young girl to act out the behavior of the person in this song? How does her dancing reflect the lyrical content?
Do you think the song "Chandelier" glorifies drinking or casts it in a negative light?
If you like Maddie Ziegler's dancing, check out her performances on Dance Moms.
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