Cher

Believe

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Taking a cue from Madonna's Ray of Light, Cher goes Euro-disco on this platter of electro-beats and pulsating club rhythms. But where Madonna's ease into the genre offshoot almost was an identifiable part of her career and culture (and therefore a sonically charged and thrilling listen), Believe comes off like Cher's latest playground move. Working with a stable of competent European studio craftsmen, Cher herself merely moves through the beat factory with one drab vocal range, blending butt-shakers (like the title tune and "Strong Enough") and semi-ballads ("Dov'e L'Amore") into one endless, and personality-free, thump session. Anyone could have been signed on as the voice in front of these generic tracks (which at times slip into glossy, overproduced late-'80s plastic); Cher brings only her name and star clout, no soul whatsoever. So, all aboard! The techno bandwagon is packing up and moving on. And Cher is determinedly, if not wholeheartedly, clinging to the tail end of it.

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