Get Well Cards for Cher's Mum and Kitty
Reviews of New Single

Diva Incarnate

Cher scholar Dishy recently alerted me to the site Diva Incarnate which has some very well-written reviews of Cher performances on older albums AND some rare little publicity shots. I love the way the writer categorizes her oeuvre: "a mix of poppers o'clock dance tracks, soft-core cougar rock and sleepy torch ballads."

For the page on Bonnie Jo Mason (1964): Bonniejo

"Forty-five years later the track still sounds fresh and remarkably intense...deliberately borrowing ideas from The Beatles' 'She Loves You.'"









For the pagStars2e on Stars (1975):

  • The site calls the album a "torch song bender" and a masterpiece, one very special album and "her real Oscar winning performance, a souring artistic triumph of alarming beauty, disarming characterization and profound dignity...Cher puts one on a gripping journey...the album displays a poignant maturity she is rarely given credit for. This album is her real autograph."
  • "Bell Bottom Blues" is "a gorgeous battle against downtrodden, drunken piano-laden sadness. Cher sings with rare grit and passion that someone like Pink would saw her dick off for...[it's sung] like a shooting star with an exhaust pipe."
  • "Love Enough" is "a thing of whimsical swoonsome and cradles your heart with horrific tenderness."
  • "These Days" [has] "a wilting orchestra that folds over like lace curtains inside her gypsy caravan...Cher's voice glides like flowing ribbon."
  • "Just This One Time" has "a choir that threatens to steal Cher's thunder before the dark lady brings out her rare and privileged falsetto. Cher's mountain climb of a vocal is jaw-dropping."
  • "Stars" is "a gorgeous finale, sung with private grace...desolated loneliness."

For the I'd Rather Believe in You (1976) paIdrather5ge:

  • "Cher's voice is a throaty elixir of hot lead and ash."
  • "The title track is the album's real winner: sad and joyful in equal measure, the gorgeous piano rouses Cher's authentic 'yeah oh yeah.'"
  • "A fine record but not an exceptional one...the vivid emotion conveyed on Stars is sorely longed for."
  • "Cher is a cement-cracking architect of her own material, despite hardly ever writing any of it; she wastes no time with uncertainty, and her 'deadpan' portrayal is what makes her so real." [Check out Cher Zine 2 for complete explication of Cher's deadpan strategy from variety TV to film to music.]
The page of mid-1970s Phil Spector singles: Hair
  • "A Woman's Story" is "a slow burning candle, a languid brewing stew, and the results are dense and hotter than a Turkish bath....the seething and cutaneously operatic backing vocals blister with burning inferno whilst Cher flatly grimaces 'hell no.'"
  • "Baby I Love You" is "crestfallen and dewy, oozing into hibernating meditation. Cher draws out new-found tenderness to the lyric, usually full of so much joy."
  • "A Love Like Ours" has "over-yelping and [is] slightly out of key as she belts 'knock knock knocking every day.'"
  • "These lingering recordings...pack more heat than all of her oil-gargling cougar schlock-rock from the mid-80s to early 90s."

For the Black Rose (1980) Page: Br6

  • This album served "as basic training and skid-marks the debut of the leotard."
  • On "Never Should've Started" her "chainsaw vocals rip the material to shreds...with a witch-crackling hostility... and ballsy performance."
  • "Julie" is "heavy chugging."
  • "88 Degrees" is "more 'tart with a heart' rhetoric but they are tying themselves in knots with this train wreck."
  • In "You Know It" it is "always great to hear Cher sing alongside a man, usually emasculating them."
  • After "Fast Company" "someone give her a made-up phone number already! Doo-wop backing vocals hurry her out the door. Lord knows who with."

For the I Paralyze (1982) pagParalyze7e:

  • "Cher Paralyzes Her Chart Positions"
  • "It was the first of 4 schlock rock affairs and by far the best...her next three albums would rely heavily on their boxer-in-the-ring style singles."
  • "It has been argued that her voice was simply too big for the lead single, the 60s girlband pastiche "Rudy."
  • On "Games" she "sings so deep it's hard not to wonder if she's deep-throating the microphone."
  • "I Paralyze" is "pure visceral it's a wonder her vocal chords aren't sharp enough to shred timber."
  • "When Cher quips 'you're as real as a dollar bill' her innate pronunciation manages to make the couplet rhyme."
  • "Book of Love" is "worth a million bad album tracks for the throwaway lyric 'hey-ho' inadvertently being one of the familiar quirks used to impersonate her.

For Believe (1999): Believe

  • "The exotica heavy-breathing of "The Power"...its bridge is gorgeous, one of parental disdain and caution."
  • "The female Elvis sound sensual on the sturdy hell-no anthem "Strong Enough" but this is throwaway stuff."
  • "The sumptuous fast-lane craziness [and] mesmerizing poetry of "Taxi Taxi" and the sensual aroma of "Love is in the Groove" [has] pulsating elegance....[both] are floating and sublime and I just love their dreamy lyrics."
  • "The euro-pop of "All or Nothing" is incredibly cheesy (and wonderfully so) but she injects so much euphoria into it, as do those tremoring guitars."
  • "Takin Back My Heart" is "weak (Diane Warren has a lot to answer for)."

For Living Proof (2001):

  • "The Music's No Good Without You" is "a monotune affair Whitehairwith expressive verses and an emotional soliloquy she wrote herself. I wasn't completely sold. That is, until I saw her music video, which was a tribute to Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings and I felt better."
  • "The unyielding pathos of "You Take it All" mesmerizing and emotional to say the least (the middle eight is heroic)."
  • "When the Money's Gone" is "basllsy kitchen-sink Hi-NRG....[and] just daft fun."
  • "Real Love" sounds "like a robot with bulimia."
  • "This will hopefully be the last dance album from Cher of this kind; the album proves there was little for her left to do in this genre...What the album does have is coherent and plaintive elegance."

I loved reading these takes on some of Cher's great albums and definitely think 'tart with a heart' is a very common Cher meme we could really explore further.




He's got loads more now too. All the 60s LPs are given track by track analysis (of sorts!). I also found a Cassablana piece and Allman & Woman and Foxy Lady all tackled in much the same style. Kinda cool to see peeps are still blogging out our gal.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)