Cher Closer to the Truth (Warner Bros) ⋆⋆⋆
“I’m just a little broken down, trying to keep myself alive,” sings Cher, on the closing track of Closer to the Truth. Fear not, though, the 67-year-old singer has not become obsessed with her mortality; in fact, Lie to Me is a tale of teenage-style relationship trauma, one of numerous youthful detours on her 25th solo LP. She even covers a Miley Cyrus single. But then doing whatever you please is one of the great joys of getting older, and what pleases pop’s grande dame – after a 12-year break from albums – is joining the young folk on the dance floor, or this record would have us believe. Always a savvy operator, Cher serves up exactly what her modern fan base craves: big, trashy disco thumpers hollered in that famously strident contralto (and occasionally filtered through her trademark vocoder), plus backing vocals from Pink and the Scissor Sisters’ Jake Shears. There are some duller soft-rock moments, too, but this is largely the sound of an award-laden legend not taking herself too seriously. A laudable return.