Living Proof

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Cher returns to the dancefloor for her latest effort, Living Proof, churning out a dozen electronic, beat-heavy tracks about heartbreak, loneliness, and survival. Songs about strength and perseverance are no anomaly coming a woman who has managed to sustain a career that has lasted four decades; and it's no mystery that Cher would be the first to be right there when you fall, telling you to get up on your feet, dust yourself off, and get out on that dancefloor. And get up you will, with this peppy dance album that spouts warm sentiments and reverberating sounds to keep you going all night long. But the power of the album's punch loses its luster each time the auto-tuner kicks in, contorting Cher's deep, sexy voice into some kind of canned electronic robot dialect. It's not until halfway through the album that listeners get a glimmer of Cher's husky vocals on the dressed-down track, "Rain, Rain." Cher takes a brief break from her inquisitiveness about love to dedicate the bold, heartfelt opening track, in honor of the September 11th tragedy, "Song for the Lonely" to "the courageous people of New York, especially the firefighters, police, Mayor Guiliani, Governor Pataki." You can bet the clubkids and long-term Cher fans will appreciate the energy and attitude of the Spanish-influenced tune "Body to Body, Heart to Heart" and the rapid-fire drum beats on the airy track "When the Money's Gone" that is likely to keep them dancing until dawn. Cher has longtime producer Rob Dickins (the man who launched Enya's career) to thank for the sheer energy on this album. But still, the lingering sense of loss and longing echoing through on tracks like "The Music's No Good Without You" suggest that maybe Cher isn't the only one left still waiting for something truly magical to happen on this record.

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