I’m not religious so I don’t go to church to confess my sins to the holy dude in the secret closet. However, I will confess my ultimate gay sin here…I don’t like ABBA. Blasphemy, I know! That haunting noise heard across the land was all the gays of the past, present and future gasping in shock. I’ve tried, really I have. Whenever I hear “Dancing Queen” on the radio or at a wedding, I try to enjoy it, but don’t. I suffered through the movie version of Mamma Mia and even saw the sequel after the cringe-worthy preview. Why see the sequel and buy the new album, Dancing Queen? One word, Cher.
When I first heard Cher was doing a new album my heart filled with unicorns and rainbows, then I heard it was an ABBA cover album, and the dark clouds came and the unicorns drowned in my tears. Cher blessed the 60’s with six solo albums and the 70’s with 10 more. Then the albums started coming less frequent. The 80’s and 90’s only saw three albums each decade and the new millennium has only had three total until now. That’s only three albums in 18 years and then I get an ABBA cover album. Seriously? Why? Because she can, she’s fucking Cher.
She’s gone back to her 60’s and 70’s roots of doing cover albums and Dancing Queen doesn’t sound any more modern. “The Winner Takes It All” is by far the closest sounding Cher song on the album bringing back memories of Burlesque’s “You Haven’t Seen The Last Of Me”. When “Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight)” started I was excited because I thought it was a cover of Madonna’s “Hung Up” but no suck luck, however expect some amazing mash-ups hitting the gay clubs soon. That was the beginning and end of my excitement, the rest of the album feels like a money-grab for a paycheck. Nothing wrong with wanting to earn a buck…or ten million.
When the movie Mamma Mia! Here We Go Again became a hit it was probably the birth of the idea for this album, strike while the disco iron is hot. When picking songs “Mamma Mia” was a must since it’s the name of the movie, you can’t do an ABBA cover album without “Dancing Queen”, and “Fernando” was already recorded for the sequel. Then there are the tie-in possibilities; “One Of Us” has a very theatrical sound so maybe it could be worked into the new Broadway show based on Cher’s life called The Cher Show and putting “Chiquitita” on the album might get the Chiquita banana people interested in sponsoring her new Here We Go Again tour. The check will clear as soon as Cher agrees to wear a Carmen Miranda fruit bowl on her head on stage.
Before the gay police come (in tear-away pants and glitter badges pinned to muscle hugging shirts) to confiscate my gay card, let me just say in my gay opinion, Dancing Queen is in no way Cher’s best album. However, it got her to start acting and touring again, so it’s a win. I’m hoping this will get her in the studio to record more albums, but please, just not a sequel to this one.