Cher’s latest album, Closer to the Truth, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard charts this year, making it her highest-ranking debut as a solo artist. As part of the Sonny and Cher duo, she reached No. 2 in 1965 with Look at Us, but she had never previously surpassed No. 4 as a solo artist. Cher has announced the Dressed To Kill tour coming up in 2014 to support this latest album which comes after a hiatus of 13 years.
Cher’s first single from her new album, Closer to the Truth, is called “Woman’s World” and features a statuesque Cher towering over a troupe of female dancers in a variety of looks, from plain blue jeans to exotic saris. With her crazy hair and age-defying figure, Cher sings about being “left with a broken heart” but asserts that she is “strong enough to rise above.” The fast beat of the song coupled with Cher’s distinctive contralto makes “Woman’s World” a great dance number.
Like some of her earlier, famous songs, “Woman’s World” has suggestions of violence. Cher sings, “Love hurts, your lies, they cut me” and says that she is “torn up, busted, taken apart.” However, this is not a song that gets caught up in violence unlike earlier numbers such as “Bang Bang (My Baby Shot Me Down)” where Cher sings, “Bang bang you shot me down/Bang bang I hit the ground/Bang bang that awful sound.”
In “Dark Lady,” the situation is reversed with the gun in the singer’s hand. “So I sneaked back and caught her with my man,” sings Cher, “Laughing and kissing till they saw the gun in my hand/The next thing I knew they were dead on the floor/Dark lady would never turn up a card anymore.” Although these powerful, provocative songs are characteristic of Cher, “Woman’s World” is a song about facing ugliness and moving on rather than getting caught up in it.
Fortunately for her fans, Cher is not slowing down despite having released 25 albums in the course of her career. She still has more to say about life, love and what Freud would have called the human tendency toward thanatos or aggression. If it really is true that human beings are slaves of eros (love) and thanatos (aggression), Cher is a great example of an artist who combines both. With her daring fashion statements, Cher is unabashedly sexy, yet honest about the violence you meet in today’s world. Ellen Degeneres recently paid homage to Cher’s largely see-through bodysuit from the “If I Could Turn Back Time” video.
As an actress as well, Cher has managed to make a name for herself even though her forays into the field have not been quite as extensive as her musical career. Starting with the film Silkwood, which earned her a nomination for Best Supporting Actress at the Oscars, Cher went on to win the award for Best Actress with her role in Moonstruck.