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Album Review: Cher – Closer To The Truth

Photo: Machado Cicala Morassut

If Cher’s album is half as good as her tweets, then I’m ready to burst with excitement. That dig at MDNA will go down as a career highlight. But onto the music: ‘Closer To The Truth’ promises to be just as fun as her personality – zoning in on her target market of women and gay men, this could possibly be the gayest record of the year. It makes Gaga look like Oasis. Seriously. The tracklist alone details odes to taking it like a man, dressing up to the nines and having a bit of pride. If anybody knows pop, though, it’s the gays, so the drag-queen soul of Cher could never let us down, even if she tried. ‘Closer To The Truth’ delivers a perfect combination of honesty, fun and more high notes than you can shake your copy of ‘Believe’ at.

Eleven years on, it’s a logical development from the club bangers (Oops, I mean Bangerz, ofcourse) that formed ‘Living Proof’. The dancefloor tunes remain perfect. As Cher recently made the remark that she wasn’t overly keen on most of her material prior to the record, her love for ‘Closer To The Truth’ may emit from the fact that, as a dance pop artist, she is unbeatable and that’s where the record plays it’s trump card. That voice might overpower petite ballads and quirky pop, but when euphoric productions push it to the foreground, it couldn’t sound any more defiant and sensational. ‘Woman’s World’ really is a tremendous comeback single that was sadly tarnished with the misfortune of a very early leak. When the lead single’s charm has worn, ‘Take It Like A Man’ is the perfect replacement. It’s camp, inviting and undeniable once you’ve heard the hook once or twice.

Elsewhere, the dance infused pop just gets better and better. ‘Red’ treads a similar path to the two mentioned tracks, polishing off one of the biggest hooks of the record, whilst ‘My Love’ does things a little more subtle, but still as effectively. On the ballads front, ‘I Hope You Find It’ is a great song – it feels classic Cher but still fits into the vibe of the album, yet it really is nothing compared to ‘Sirens’. It sounds like it’s not trying too hard, it’s not predictable, it has huge vocal moments at the end of every chorus and it gives the impression of being timeless, whilst also beautifully relevant and modern. The production on this track, as well as throughout most of the record, is astounding. Cher is determined not be lumped with the complacent comeback tag.

Through the slinky ‘Dressed To Kill’ to the bittersweet heartbreak of ‘Lie To Me’, Cher has produced a mammoth record that proves, without even trying, that age is nothing but a number. Any doubts that the record would be a boring, middle-of-the-road attempt are soon quashed after experiencing the enormous single-ready tracks she’s been sitting on. Eleven years it took and eleven years it has deserved – no rushed jobs here, just a brilliant pop record that, if it is her last (something the deluxe edition’s final track denies) then it’s the perfect swansong. Powerful, triumphant and a true celebration of the voice of a lifetime.

Photo: Machado Cicala Morassut
Words: Simon McMurdo

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