Single Review: David Guetta ft. Sia – ‘Titanium’

“‘Titanium’ fruits from arguably fresher soils than the bargain-basement thrills and of his previous commercial work”

3 STARS

Digital Release: December 9, 2011

Physical Release: January 22, 2012

Never the first thought in anyone’s head when it comes to songs about finding inner strength to triumph over adversary, David Guetta prefers a far more formulaic route to selling single after single. But since working with the disparagingly predictable Who’s Who of practically everyone in US music world, it was only a matter of time before pressure from DJ competition expanded from it’s caged roots of two-person audiences in council flats and stumbled into full-on wide-screen confrontation. Suffice to say with the temporary demise of the now idea-void Timbaland, the crown of best commercial DJ was up for grabs, and for a number of years since exploding back into public presence with ‘When Love Takes Over’, Guetta’s been it’s proud owner and the go-to guy for success, swatting away the momentary surges of popularity between then and now that magnetised anyone in need of a quick hit towards RedOne, Dr. Luke, J. R. Rotem or, if you were looking for arguably more prestige, Stuart Price (we’ll ignore Scissor Sisters’ viciously subcultural ‘Night Work’ in this instance).

And that in itself is one of the most startling contrasts to Guetta’s norm here on ’Titanium’. With Australian songstress Sia long overdue some commercial attention, she’s penned a song which fruits from arguably fresher and mineral-rich soils than the bargain-basement thrills and half-promises of their own appeal his previous commercial work is infested with. There’s a welcome alteration of musical direction and a vast improvement in lyrical sense. Sia isn’t moaning about the fickleness of love as some kind of misandrous woman scorned, nor is she gloating of the audacity of her adventures with love, or even her own sheer awesomeness when it comes to love. Listeners will actually have to comprehend the lyrics on a level far more profound than what is simply sung with her mighty vocals. Sia creates room for the listeners to adapt each phrase that cements the virtue of resilience to their own lives, which is something the narrow-minded, repetitive bravado of Guetta’s 2009-2011 work lacked on almost every instance.

Sia also overcomes the main worry for an artist approached by Guetta; it’s not that she’s skilfully evaded the possibility of tarnishing her own chances of succeeding commercially, but more the fact that she, much like the song’s lyrics, has stood strong against the powerhouse assembly of synthesisers by upping her own game, with her distinctive vocals ringing clear and commanding her presence with a mighty chorus. And for the very same reason, ‘Titanium’ isn’t the kind of song that’ll bring a tear to your eye with it’s rampaging pathos and sky-high vocals, but it’s just the right amount of dramatic angst to nestle comfortably on a fence between the realm of generic radio pap for the masses and a song with a real message.

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