Cher: Dancing Queen review – ingenious Abba-dabbling

Warner Bros

As Cher proved in her Mamma Mia: Her We Go Again! cameo, she need do very little to provoke squealing acclaim when it comes to Abba dabbling: merely descend from a helicopter in stately fashion and sing Fernando in that thrillingly ripe tone. But Dancing Queen, an album of Abba covers that could easily have sailed by like glitter on the breeze, is often surprisingly ingenious.

Occasionally Cher uses her trademark Auto-Tune like a crutch – it’s a cop-out on One of Us – but mostly it acts as a kind of interstellar portal that elevates Abba from the dancefloor to the cosmos. “No one can hear my praaaaayer,” she belts on Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!, voice melting into vocoder and amplifying the song’s existential loneliness. Shivering trance synths threaten to overwhelm The Winner Takes It All, lending a sense of deathly transcendence to Abba’s valedictory hit. This blur between human and cyborg, where sequins become holograms, is a thrillingly clever distillation of pop immortality.

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