Living Proof


Warner Brothers, 2001

REVIEW BY: Michael R. Smith


As cool and remote as ever, Cher started this decade on a high with Living Proof and now, as 2009 draws to a close, she has one of the most popular live shows on the Vegas strip. As a slightly inferior companion sequel to the blockbuster hit album Believe, Living Proof brings Cher back for one more spin on the disco ball. Unfortunately, due to a staggered release date and poor promotion, this record didn’t quite perform up to sales expectations. It’s a shame, too, because there is some great material on this disc to be discovered.

The import version is preferable to the U.S. version, as it features a different track list order and substitutes one song for another (the brilliant “You Take It All” vs. the dismal Diane Warren-penned “When You Walk Away”). The import’s opener “The Music’s No Good Without You” bests the domestic first track “Song For The Lonely,” though it was only a marginal hit in the UK. Another single, “A Different Kind Of Love Song,” brought back the vocoder style that made “Believe” such a #1 worldwide smash and the clubs couldn’t get enough – they deemed both “A Different Kind Of Love Song” and “Song For The Lonely” worthy #1 club play hits.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

Another key track is Cher’s version of “When The Money’s Gone,” which also went to #1 in club land. I dare to say that it’s the most exciting Cher moment of the last ten years. Her fondness for Latin music is brought to the fore with “Love So High” and the red-hot “Body To Body, Heart To Heart,” and her diva ability to bring people together is on the plaintive plea “Love One Another.” Sense a pattern here? Yep, this time it’s all about love – there are no less than five songs with the word “love” in the title. A tad redundant, yes, and a clear sign that Cher had run out of steam, not to mention new lyrical ideas.

As dance albums go, this is one of those affairs that you can’t go wrong with. Cher and Madonna will always be the real crowd-pleasers, whether it is at a club or an intimate party setting. As I write this, I suddenly realize that it’s Halloween and years ago, I remember how I used to dress up as Cher and Madonna. If you’re a big fan like I am, why not show your devotion and pride at your next costume party? Pick a look, any look (and there have been countless). Get out those fishnets, wig and put on a little makeup-makeup. See how many of your friends actually recognize you…or let you live it down, for that matter!

If all that seems like just too much work, you can always seek out Living Proof. One listen to the top-notch electro-clash number “Real Love” and you’ll be lost in the music just like I was when I first heard it. The quality sound and production is what makes this Cher release so memorable. The blond wig she’s wearing on the cover, though? Not so much.

Rating: B-

User Rating: B+



© 2009 Michael R. Smith and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Warner Brothers, and is used for informational purposes only.