Going into her seventh album, Sia Furler wanted to try "an experiment." She would record self-written tracks already pitched to but rejected by A-listers. "I feel like they’re hits, but nobody wanted them," she said. She was right. This Is Acting dives headfirst into into pop's waters but its bold and beguiling songs retrain their author's earthy edge. Sia's cathartic voice is, as usual, the star—"Alive" and "House on Fire" pulverize all before it, big-night-out anthem "Cheap Thrills" is a ton of fun, and "Reaper" (a Kanye West co-write) is the sort of midtempo empowerment jam only she can nail so triumphantly.