Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Closer to the Truth' Cher Says Close to Her Glamorous Self on New Album

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

'Closer to the Truth' Cher Says Close to Her Glamorous Self on New Album

Article excerpt


Singing advice, Hollywood gossip, fashion tips: You'd go to Cher for many things, but detailed driving directions might not be one of them.

Yet on a recent evening in the back seat of a limousine traveling down Sunset Boulevard, that's precisely what she was providing to a chauffeur uncertain of how to get to Soho House in West Hollywood. A taping for next year's Academy Awards had gone long, and the singer was running late in rush-hour traffic for a party celebrating her new album. If this worried Cher, though, she wasn't showing it.

"I don't really care about the party," she said. "I just want to hear my record."

That straightforward manner carries over to "Closer to the Truth," Cher's first album since 2001.

At a time when many of her contemporaries are approaching fresh work with some kind of defined narrative - think Elton John's back- to-basics "The Diving Board" or Sting's set of songs written for a Broadway musical - it's nothing more than a collection of high- energy disco anthems with titles such as "Dressed to Kill" and "Take It Like a Man."

And thank goodness for that, because more than maybe any other 67-year-old in show business, Cher - the woman who's outlasted countless fads - is in no need of a concept. Put another way, Cher is the concept.

"It never occurred to me do anything else," she said with a laugh as the car waited at a stoplight. On the cover of the new album she's going for a blond-bombshell look but today she was reserved in a gold-and-black pantsuit, her dark hair hanging long and straight. "That seems too deep."

Even so, there is one question that applies to "Closer to the Truth," which came out last week: More than a decade after her global smash "Believe" helped touch off a dance-pop revival that's still playing out, can Cher connect with listeners too young to remember her dancing on a Navy battleship or singing "I Got You Babe" with former husband Sonny Bono?

There's no denying the influence she's had on such modern hit makers as Rihanna and Lady Gaga, whose music similarly layers big vocals over sleek beats and whose style sensibilities push boundaries that Cher did as much as anyone to set.

This summer a duet between Cher and Lady Gaga, "The Greatest Thing," leaked online, and the new album contains collaborations with Pink (who co-wrote two songs) and Jake Shears of New York's Scissor Sisters.

She's putting in the work to make herself visible too, with recent high-profile appearances on "Today" and "Late Show With David Letterman," where she was lowered to the stage on a pillowed trapeze.

This month she'll serve as a mentor on "The Voice," not long after the NBC series hosted Cher's first performance of the album's stadium-rave single, "Woman's World" - a gig for which she wore a metallic jacket over a leather-and-fishnet bustier and what appeared to be two wigs. …

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