Riding high off the success of Mamma Mia:
Cher’s latest album gives us the mash-up we never knew we needed. That’s right, Cher has released an album of ABBA covers and it is just as fabulous as it sounds. The ten-track album features some of ABBA’s greatest hits revamped by Cher’s legendary vocals. Before I dive into the album as a whole, I want to touch on my first impressions of the collaboration. Obviously, ‘Fernando’ – the song Cher performed in Mamma Mia 2 makes the cut and very little has changed from the movie soundtrack to the album, except it is no longer a duet with Andy Garcia.The first single released from the album was ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme (A Man after Midnight)’ and this was what sold me on the concept of the album. Cher gives the song more of a club feel, harkening back to her ‘Believe’ era with the stylistic use of vocal effects. She followed this up by releasing ‘S.O.S’ and ‘One of Us’ as singles, neither of which impressed me as much, but they were both solid covers of two of my favourite ABBA songs. The thing that disappointed me most in the run up to the album’s release was the track listing itself. Naturally, there were tracks that I had expected to appear, like ‘Dancing Queen’ and ‘Fernando’, but I had hoped that Cher would shy away from predictable choices like ‘Waterloo’ and ‘Mamma Mia’.
In ten tracks it’s impossible to cover everybody’s favourite ABBA song, but I maintain that what the world needs right now is for Cher to do a version of ‘Knowing me, Knowing you’. The album opens with the iconic titular track, ‘Dancing Queen’, but it’s average. I had hoped for more from the Cher brand of magic that we got on ‘Gimme Gimme Gimme’. The album follows in very much the same vein of just good covers, with a few standout tracks. ‘Waterloo’ definitely surprised me, as Cher somehow made the song even more upbeat than it already was, and gave it a slicker, more modern sound. ‘Chiquitita’ also surprised me, as it’s not one of my favourite ABBA songs, but I absolutely loved what she did with it, stripping it back and giving it an almost country vibe with the guitar. ‘The Winner Takes it All’ has been upgraded from a boring ballad (sorry Abba) to a funky dance number. The album closes with ‘One of Us’, and whilst the cover is nothing special, it does beautifully showcase Cher’s incredible vocal range.
Overall, I enjoyed this album and if you’re a fan of Cher, or ABBA, or both, then I would definitely recommend checking it out. I just wish Cher had gone even further with these iconic tracks, and really made the whole album her own, rather than just a few standout tracks.