CD REVIEW: Cher, ‘Closer to the Truth’

CHERTo find the truth on Cher’s first album of new material in 12 years, look beyond that over-polished, Britney-circa-Femme Fatale-era cover art on Closer to the Truth, wherein our leading diva confuses an album shoot for a JCPenney underwear catalog. The truth, it turns out, isn’t immediately apparent; it exists not in a 67-year-old woman trying to be a pinup girl, but in the frankness of Cher’s always-authentic self, when she preaches feminism (“Woman’s World”), tells a prospective lover to “Take It Like a Man” and, at her most honest, warns of her lethal wig-wearing, sequin-shimmering style (“Dressed to Kill”).

Picking up where 2001’s Living Proof left off — when Cher, impossible as it sounds, got even gayer — Closer to the Truth (her 26th LP) keeps the queers at her feet and on their knees; all three of the aforementioned songs pulse and bounce and bang like the icon never left the dance floor. And that’s only somewhat problematic, since some of these aren’t quite as ageless as the diva herself. “Woman’s World,” the first single, sounds very turn-of-the-millennium. One of two Pink-scribed contributions, “I Walk Alone,” exercises a country march that both befits early-era Cher and shakes up the sameness of the more vanilla-produced dance jams. Then she gets back to ballads, making magic out of “Sirens,” a glorious slow tempo that proves the timelessness of her voice, and breaking your heart just a little on her cover of Miley Cyrus’ “I Hope You Find It.” The truth is, Cher doesn’t need to turn back time. She’s fine right where she is.

— Chris Azzopardi

 Three-and-a-half stars.

—  Arnold Wayne Jones

Signing Britney Spears

Joe. My. God.

—  David Taffet

Concert Notice: South Side Music Hall announces Robyn coming to town in February

The peeps at Gilley’s Music Complex scored a sweet show for their mid-size venue, the South Side Music Hall. They just announced that pop singer Robyn will perform at SSMH Feb. 18. So glad it’s in this room because it’s big enough to be a fab dance party, but not too big that you couldn’t see her up close. OK, if you’re in the waaay back, then it’s a bit far.

If you’ve been paying attention to Robyn, she’s finishing a trilogy of releases over the year with today’s release of Body Talk Pt. 3 or the kinda culminating full-length Body Talk. She released Body Talk Pt. 1 back in June and followed with  Pt. 2 in September. The first yielded the smash hit “Dancing On My Own,” which I’d dare to say is dance/pop at some of its smartest. The rest of the EP follows suit, especially after the bold opener “Don’t Fucking Tell Me What To Do.”  The entire album was an impressive display of writing and music that’s been a Euro-alternative to American pop princesses over the years from Britney to Beyonce to Gaga.

Tickets are $22 in advance and $25 at the door and go on sale Friday.

—  Rich Lopez

News: Britney Spears, Savannah, Spice Girls, Titanic

 road I've lost count how many times the police have busted Paris Hilton. It's happened again, this time in Vegas.

Brit  road Britney Spears dons a cheap wedding dress to tell Pop Magazine about a possible collaboration in the future with Lady Gaga? Could be very interesting.

 road Savannah gay bashing downgraded from a hate crime: "The Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department and the DA’s office reviewed Daly's medical records and conducted further investigation, they determined this case had 'no merit' to be considered a hate crime. Police spokesperson: 'I can’t speak on the specifics because this is pending litigation, but for a crime to be considered a felony [which a hate crime is considered to be] there has to be proof of a sustained injury. It’s my understanding Daly suffered only a punch. Based on his medical records we could not upgrade the charge from a misdemeanor to a felony.'

 road UNICEF spokesperson Clay Aiken wants you to help with the flooding in Pakistan.

 road Brian Williams tried on a pair of flat-front khakis while hanging out with Brad Pitt.

 road Jennifer Saunders penning a musical around the songs of the Spice Girls sounds like gold.

 road Glee season 2 promo pics.

 road ,740 for a toilet, even John Lennon's, seems like a bit much.

 road I hope George Michael finally finds the help he needs in rehab.

Titanic  road New sonar image of The Titanic: "What you will see is A bird's eye view sonar image looking down at Titanic's bow taken by the Waitt Institutes AUV, "Mary Ann," operated by Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, in an expedition lead by Premier Exhibitions, Inc. Visible are the mast, superstructure, openings for the one and two funnels, as well as the Grand Staircase.

 road This might make you never want to eat at McDonald's ever again.

 road African Bishop attending Church of Uganda and the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa conference denounces gays: "Homosexuality is not a new phenomenon in the society but the only trouble is that the issues dividing us (church) now are very difficult to handle. They are threatening the unity of the church because they disobey the authority of the scriptures."

 road Katy's Perry's music video for her "Teenage Dream," the director's cut.

 road Hearing this announcement play over the speakers mid-flight would give anyone a heart attack.


Towleroad News #gay

—  John Wright

Get a fresh piece of Crocker

Earlier this week, Chris “Leave Britney Alone” Crocker unleashed his latest, a cover of Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me.” It’s an instant classic Crocker even overdubs some of the vocals. (Probably NSFW).

—  Dallasvoice