Cher

The Sonny Side of Cher

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On Cher's second solo record, 1966's The Sonny Side of Cher, Sonny Bono tinkers with the folk-rock formula that had made her previous album such a delight and ruins everything, leaving the album as nothing more than a chuckle-inducing curiosity, just the kind of silly record casual listeners might expect from the duo. While there are still good covers of Dylan ("Like a Rolling Stone") and a couple of Bob Lind tunes ("Elusive Butterfly" and "Come to Your Window"), for some reason Bono thought it would be a good idea to graft his Spectorized folk-rock sound onto MOR pop tunes like "It's Not Unusual," "Our Day Will Come," and "The Girl from Ipanema." Cher sounds game but uncommitted, the arrangements are over the top (check "Old Man River" for the best example), and it just doesn't work. The only track that has any real zest is the Bono-written novelty "Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)," the kind of dramatic song Cher could knock out in her sleep but also a song with no real heart. The album is doomed by its lack of heart and inability to rise above the formulaic.

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