One of the best things about Cher’s new album is that it is filled with songs that have the potential to be hit singles and club hits.

Unfortunately, this is also the album’s greatest failing. “Living Proof” has no sense of unity beyond all of the songs having beats that are of remix quality and being great songs to listen to after a breakup.

After the huge success of the singles “Believe” and “Strong Enough” from her last release in 1999, “Believe,” which were in a similar vein its not surprising that this also the sound the new album carries.

As a result, every track on this album is influenced by that style, albeit without the voice modulations of “Believe” except in “A Different Kind of Love Song” where the technique is used for good effect and somewhat less intrusively by the producers, Eclectic Productions.

One point I find notable is that Cher is one of the few people whose audience from her early career to her current recordings is so completely different that fans of her current music probably are the children of the people who liked her early work.

This may be a byproduct of a career that starts in 1965 and runs to the present, spanning almost 40 years and the change that necessitates. But more likely its due to her belief that she voiced on VH1’s recent “Behind the Music” on her life. Cher said that she couldn’t think of anything worse than not being cool.

This striving for “coolness” has seemingly led to her continuing progression towards club music, to the ultimate end of Living Fever being dance mixed so that the only difference between whats on the disc and whats in the club is the CD versions are only 3-4 minutesand in a club dance mixes are usually 8-10 minutes long.

The last possibility is that her label, Warner Bros., is being cheap and didn’t want to pay for actual musicians to perform on her album, so its just her and some synthsizers.

We may never know what the reason is, but it doesn’t matter. Most artists are long gone before the 40-year-mark. Even Madonna, lauded for her staying power, isn’t close in her longevity.

These tracks are made for playability. They’re catchy, and for the most part, fun.

The album starts with “Song for the Lonely,” the hit single premiered in January at the American Music Awards.

This catchy song sets the tone for most songs on the album, which leave you singing along even if you don’t actually know the words yet.

That might just be me though, seeing as I sing along regardless of whether I know the words or not. Its safe to assume I usually don’t know all the words but I’m having fun anyways. Try it sometime with this single.

“Rain, Rain” is the only really dreary song on the album and I tend to skip it. Something about the harmonies bother me.

The track “Real Love” has some disco beats that I really get into and will probably be released as a single in the American market if the European single “The Music’s No Good Without You” isn’t instead.

Love One Another is a fun song with a peppy message, but “When You Walk Away” is the song most likely to appeal to Cher’s older audience.

There’s even “Body to Body, Heart to Heart” that is reminicent of Whitney Houston and Enrique Iglesia’s duet from last year with a latin and disco feel.

The Album ends on my absolute favorite song on this CD, “When the Money’s Gone.” This track is another fun track in the vein of the Believe album that is a blast to sing along to (and actually know the words) and has a great beat to it. Premixed for that “club in your car” feel, this track is a reason in itself to buy the album.

Living Proof isn’t going to make you rethink your like or dislike for Cher, but if you’re a younger fan its a definate purchase to add to your collection.

Paris can be reached at tparis@campustimes.org.



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