In a release week dominated by a quintessentially millennial rapper, the ageless pop icon slips back into the fold with her first album in 12 years, Closer to the Truth. We could pile on a few statement pointing out the obvious regarding the changes in the musical landscape since 2001, when Cher released Living Proof, but we’ll spare you the navel-gazing and just say this: everything’s changed, but Cher does not have to.
As Cher reiterated a few times throughout our sitdown, she doesn’t overthink her career. Hell, she said she forgot to make an album — that’s why it took her so long. She follows her heart and puts total faith in her collaborators, which this time around included fellow outspoken pop force Pink, Scissor Sisters frontman Jake Shears (on the campy-as-hell “Take It Like a Man”) and house music mainstay Paul Oakenfold (on lead single “Woman’s World”). Pink co-wrote two of the album’s most dramatic tracks, which is really saying something considering this is Cher we’re talking about. The first, “I Walk Alone,” is the album’s so-called “country song,” thanks to its banjitar and foot-stomping beat. The second Pink track, “Lie To Me,” is the kind of sweeping-strings ballad that could live on adult contemporary radio for years to come, should Cher choose to release it as a single.
“These songs, I just loved from five seconds into them,” Cher said of Pink’s contributions. “She’s just a great singer and she’s great songwriter – she’s the total package. I understood them, and when you hear them, you’ll understand why I understood them. They’re so personal, but they work for both of us.”
One song, however, that did not work for both parties involved was Cher’s Lady Gaga duet from 2011, “The Greatest Thing,” which leaked online in recent months after Gaga declined to use the track. When asked if she was disappointed by Gaga’s decision, Cher replied, “Oh God yeah!”