Fans grew impatient during the 12-year gap between her last studio album and her new one, Closer To The Truth, but they, and reviewers, have been mightily impressed with Cher's impeccable new album. Here's Cher News' verdict on the 11-track collection:
1 Woman's World
Prior to Closer To The Truth, Cher had not released an album since 2001's Living Proof. So what better way to say "I'm back" than this in-your-face tune with its shouty chorus (much like P!nk's So What?) and catchy, repetitive lyrics. Had the song not been leaked in November 2012 (damn you, leakers!) the single wouldn't have lost its punch by its June 2013 release and would have been a much bigger hit than it was.
2. Take It Like A Man
This song grabs you from the very start as Cher belts out "Boy if you want my heart, you gotta take it like a man" with passion. Like Woman's World, the chorus is loud and proud. However, arguably, this song is better than Woman's World - in fact most of the tracks on the album are. Its verses are soaked in auto-tune but it 100% suits the song and doesn't leave you urging to hear her naked vocals as was the case sometimes on Living Proof. Scissor sisters front-man Jake Shears supplies background vocals but with Cher's powerful voice in the foreground, his presence on the track is not very obvious.
3. My Love
This song starts off seeming like its going to be a slow tune but then it U-turns into being another dance tune with a killer chorus - on which Cher sounds like she's giving it her all. The song echoes some of the dancier material of Living Proof - so if you liked that album, you'll like this song.
4. Dressed To Kill
The album has so many quirks (but it isn't over-produced as some say Living Proof is) and this song is a great example of it. Its intriguing intro leads into distorted sultry vocals and the chorus tails off into even further realms of distorted vocals to fun effect. The whole song is pure fun.
This one has great potential to be a hit. In fact, most of these songs do! The album is that good. Anyway, Red has a quiet few seconds at the start which, like My Love, has you assuming that a quiet ditty is coming up. But then the quiet group of ah's turn into the belting "All I see is red", with Cher delivering the latter word at the top of her lungs. The verses are full of sass.
6. Lovers Forever
Its easy to forget that this song is called Lovers Forever as what grabs your attention is the line "Surrender to me now" which Cher delivers with soaring vocals (it's amusing to hear for how long Cher can belt out the word "now"). The very dramatic dance tune was (co-)written by Cher way back in 1994 and features an array of dazzling effects.
7. I Walk Alone
You'd think that a song with the title I Walk Alone would be a ballad but that certainly isn't the case here. It's a banjo-led - yes, banjo - country-tinged track that has a real fresh result and wouldn't sound out of place in a barn dance. It is just another area of music that the ever-exploring Cher has attempted and totally conquered. The song is one of two songs on the album co-written by P!nk and also features her on background vocals but you'll have to have good ears to catch her voice.
This near-haunting tear-jerker was written about 9/11 and Cher's heartfelt delivery of the powerful lyrics ("If we leave behind, the dust in the sky, from the sound of sirens, the city will rise") certainly pulls at the listener's heartstrings. The track, with its rock touches, is arguably the closest thing on the album to the 1980's portion of Cher's back-catalogue.
9. Favorite Scars
Again, this is another song that sounds perfect for radio and could be a big hit. Cher sounds close to tears throughout her delivery of the song which dishes out on all the things that love is, against marching music and fun backing vocals.
10. I Hope You Find It
This album is like 'Believe' but with more potential hits, and the presence of ballads - brilliant ones. This song - a cover of an almost-obscure Miley Cyrus track - is a very radio-friendly mature pop ballad, hence, perhaps, its single status.
11. Lie To Me
The curse-containing opening line of "Oh f**k just lie to me" is a dead giveaway that this is one of the two songs written by P!nk. Its the closing track of the standard album and sounds very much like the tender tunes on Cher's 1995 album It's A Man's World. The emotional acoustic number builds into a delicious climax for the album.
Everyone, including every skeptic, should give 'Closer To The Truth' a listen - and be floored by its flawlessness.