“Having the time of her life” hardly begins to describe what Cher gets up to on her 26th studio album, an ebullient cache of ABBA tribute covers inspired by the singer’s stint in Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again. Between that scene-stealing cameo this summer, the stage musical about her life premiering on Broadway this winter, and the auspicious virality of her Twitter presence on any given week in between, Cher’s year has been one of reassertion and galvanization as a capital-V Voice in greater pop culture. But Dancing Queen arrives as a plum autumn reminder of what the musician, left to her own devices (and that delicious Auto-Tune), can still singularly deliver in the studio.
First, perspective: If pop culture is a cumulative pyramid, Cher is a cornerstone, one on which a score of musical ladies-in-waiting have built personas, with or without their young fans recognizing how the 72-year-old may have paved the way. But this isn’t about Cher’s trailblazing or her influence or who owes what to whom. It’s about the Cher of now, on her most significant release since 1998’s Believe, being presented to four generations of fans — two of which include the millennial and Gen-Z gatekeepers more familiar with Cher’s myth than her discography. And so Dancing Queen marks the first record for the newest evolution in Cher’s persona — Social Media Cher — yet maintains a perfectly manicured hand in the past (doubly compounded by the ABBA slice of the equation as if by delicious design). Perhaps, then, it can do what so many artists of legacy hope a sunset album can do: assert just how long a queen can reign on a pop landscape that has transformed on the surface but, sound for sound, hasn’t really changed a beat.
Of course, consider an alternative read: Cher is just having a great goddamn time.
It’s no mistake that the thumping “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” dropped as the first single off the album, which culls from the best disco-adjacent bits of Benny and Björn’s songwriting catalogue. “Gimme!” is the anthem that most encapsulates what Cher accomplishes here: an unironic return to ‘70s disco glam-pop, more natural than nostalgic, delivered with the characteristic club coolness and lyrical earnestness that has always placed Cher in a lane of her own. (If there’s ever a time to get away with saying “je ne sais quoi,” it’s to describe what earthly realm Cher occupies.)... Read more on Entertainment Weekly.
Variety - Album Review: Cher’s ‘Dancing Queen’
The Guardian - Cher: Dancing Queen review – ingenious Abba-dabbling
Idolator - Album Review: Cher’s ‘Dancing Queen’
Rolling Stone - Review: Cher Lovingly Updates ABBA’s Hits on ‘Dancing Queen’