Cher

Not.Com.mercial

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In late 2000, Cher issued the album Not.Com.mercial, which was sold exclusively via the website www.cherdirect.com. The album, as the title implies, was not sold in stores. So, from the onset, the album was marked as a rarity. It's also a rarity because it's the first album comprised almost entirely of original material written by the lady herself. The album has a 1970s singer/songwriter feel. At times it sounds somewhat country and twangy, other times somewhat bluesy, but always completely different from her previous effort Believe (these songs were written during a songwriting retreat in 1994, so well before her transformation into a dancefloor staple). The songs range from slow to mid-tempo and have quite engaging lyrics, proving Cher adept in the role of storyteller. Album highlights include the bluesy "(The Fall) Kurt's Blues," which was written for tragic grunge god Kurt Cobain. The catchy, twangy "Disaster Cake" was written about one of her daughter's former girlfriends, and "Fit to Fly" recalls late-'80s, Heart of Stone-era Cher. Also included is an old Sonny & Cher tune, "Classified 1A," which was shelved because it was deemed un-American. The album is a tad muddled (some melodramatic lyrics, as in "Sisters of Mercy" when she yells the chorus "sisters of mercy, daughters of hell!"), but overall the songs prove effective, and the album is a must for the singer's legions of fans. Good liner notes, too.

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