There are pop stars, and then there is Cher.
Cher’s enduring legacy as an artist is simply unmatched: With 26 studio albums under her belt (!) and Top 40-charting singles from each decade since the 1960’s (!!), she is truly one of the industry’s living legends.
Last evening, I had the distinct pleasure of heading across town to test drive the iconic diva’s brand new studio record due out on September 24, Closer To The Truth.
For about two hours, me and about two dozen other journalists and industry types schmoozed, danced and swayed (and indulged in one too many sweet treats) to the sound of Cher’s first studio album since 2001’s Living Proof — including Matt from Boy Culture and my Cosmo boo, Sergio.
Sadly, I still have to keep mum on a majority of the record (as per Liz Rosenberg‘s direct orders — and I’m not about to cross Liz), but there are some things I’m allowed to discuss. And so, some initial thoughts.
I ate a lot of that candy.
For one thing, Closer is a healthy between punchy, uptempo dance tracks (including “Woman’s World”) and big, emotional balladry — a half-breed, one might say.
The dance tracks are all fierce, stomping club-pop anthems with equally fierce names: The most instant highlight, though, is “Take It Like A Man,” which — as I breathlessly tweeted during the party — is clearly a new gay anthem from the get-go. (Then again, you probably could have assumed as much from the title alone.) It’s a very big, anthemic call-to-arms for the dance floor, a la “Song For The Lonely” — except rather than being a dedication to the lonely, it’s about those who, err… take it.
There’s plenty of variety to get truly excited about, including not one, but two songs penned by P!nk (who assists with background vocals on one). One of the two is called “I Walk Alone,” which has a defiant chorus that sort of reminded me of Geri Halliwell‘s “Bag It Up.” Lots o’ sass.
The ballads, though, are where Cher’s diehards will likely be beside themselves. (The term “classic Cher” came up quite frequently throughout the night.) There’s big, bold chops on this record — especially on the slower numbers, including a heartfelt dedication to 9/11 and “I Hope You Find It,” a devastating post-break up coming-to-terms that underscores why Cher’s the original #GrownWoman.
While classics like “Believe” obviously remain immaculate, Closer To The Truth is also closer to the natural vocals — no real Auto-Tune play to be found here. A little more organic, one might say! (And no, the Gaga duet is not on the album because Gaga didn’t like it, which Cher already addressed on Twitter.)
Though it’s obviously hard to make a solid assessment from only one spin or two in the middle of a party (and a few glasses of Prosecco), the impression I got from the smiling faces and tapping toes (my own included!) was that Closer To The Truth is going to be a genuine fan pleaser. The uptempos will serve nicely at the gym and getting ready for a big night out, and the ballads will serve nicely for a good ol’ 4 AM sob session.
It’s danceable, it’s heartfelt — and most of all, it is very, very Cher.
Thanks again to everyone at Liz Rosenberg Media for a fabulous Cher fest! I had an absolute blast. (Oh, and Liz, I hacked your computer and stole every Cher and Madonna demo from the past 30 years — hope that’s not awkward.)
Closer To The Truth will be released on September 24. (iTunes)