Cher – Believe – Timelessness Personified

Posted: 04/05/2014 in Feature
Tags: , , ,

There is a ‘twenty year rule’ for pop music. It applies across other genres but rings especially true in pop. When a chart song comes out the ‘music fans’ hate it; after ten years it’s ever so ironic, and after twenty it joins the classic pop cannon.

It happened to Burt Bacharach, Elvis and Abba; it happened to synthpop and Stock Aitken and Waterman, and whether you like it or not, it will happen to Girls Aloud and Lady Gaga.

The latter gets complicated though. The 00s/10s have been particularly forgiving of cheese. In our metropolitan anything goes era, listening to chart music isn’t quite the social faux pas it was in the dark tribal days.

There are of course exceptions. When pop goes wrong, it goes really wrong. Some songs are so poisonous the contagion never leaves.

If you could somehow distil down a weekend in Blackpool into a song you’d have Cher’s ‘Believe’. Only, you can actually escape Chav-Vegas. But like a sewer rat, you are never very far from ‘Believe’. It still evokes a wedding punch-up, a mobile DJ or the worst kind of 6am drinking.

The whole composition is phoned-in europop b-side fodder. Cher does his automated operabot programming all the justice it deserves: complete personal engagement with an near sociopathic lack of emotion.

It’s nice to see that Cher himself – in typically modest fashion – takes full credit for inventing autotune. As if she not only devised the studio technique, but also sleeps soundly at night with the utter shame of what became of that. Having said that. At least there is some remnant of something new for 00s pop, except the pornography.


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