Listen ‘Out’ – Cher, Kim Petras, Electric Six and Christine and the Queens

By Jex Druerie
Music Critic

Cher: Dancing Queen 

The living legend has returned with her long-awaited new album of classic ABBA covers. The album runs through the band’s biggest hits, including SOS, Waterloo, Fernando, Mamma Mia, and others. Her first album since 2013’s Closer to the Truth, Dancing Queen should tide fans over until a new album of original material eventually comes. 

Most of the covers here are incredibly faithful to the originals, with only slight 21st-century technological embellishments. First single Gimme! Gimme! Gimme! (A Man After Midnight) is the most modern sounding of the tracks, marrying the song’s classic elements with 2018’s best dancefloor-ready production. 

That’s not to say the other tracks sound dated. They combine Cher’s iconic voice – as strong as ever, by the way – with the pop perfection of ABBA’s compositions to produce an upbeat, euphoric journey through the best of the band’s catalogue.

This is the album we didn’t know we needed. 

 

Kim Petras: TURN OFF THE LIGHT, VOL. 1 

On her spooky new mixtape, up-and-coming German pop starlet Kim Petras has released a collection of dark horror disco. Prior to Turn Off The Light (TOTL), Petras released a slew of singles, each as good as the last. This set is her first long-form effort. 

The opener, omen, segues into the killer Close Your Eyes, a black-widow thumper that will have you Thriller-dancing all over the house.  

Legendary Mistress of the Dark herself Elvira guests on the title track, which slides right into the set’s centerpiece track, Tell Me It’s a Nightmare. 

There’s no shortage of Petras’s trademark “oooh ahs,” either, even on the instrumental tracks, which make up about a third of the set.  

TOTL was produced by her longtime collaborator Dr. Luke, who you may remember from the legal battle with Kesha. While Kim’s association with the notorious producer is likely innocent – she's new and probably unable to pick with whom she will work – the proximity sullies an otherwise stellar collection. 

Electric Six: Bride of the Devil 

The band behind the 2003 singles Danger! High Voltage and Gay Bar has returned with a new album, their 17th studio recording. 

Dick Valentine and company are in fine form on a typically energetic album with the expected comedic sleaze throughout.  

Musically, the album ranges from heavy (see the aptly titled opening track, The Opener), to slick funk and grunge rock, and is almost always danceable.  

The album is filled with fun titles like Daddy’s Boy, Hades Ladies, and Full Moon Over the Internet. On the title track, Valentine proclaims, “Bride of the Devil is a friend of mine.” 

True to camp form, Valentine also name drops Amanda Palmer and Karma Chameleon, while asking the listener, “Were you recently victimized by a 90s band?” on Witches Burning

Longtime fans of the band will be pleased with this new set, which sticks true to their signature sound, well-trodden a path as it may be. 

Christine and the Queens: Chris 

French singer Hélöise Letissier is back with a gorgeous album that fuses the lurid with the tender. She uses masculinity to embolden her womanhood in the character of Chris, a “horny, hungry, and ambitious woman,” as Letissier described it to The New York Times. 

On the bubbling and funk-laden lead single, girlfriend, Letissier admonishes the term but might like being called your lover. On the walker, her rage is barely contained as she embarks on an indefinite stroll to clear her head. 

Chris has reached heights of self-possession and assurance, without hiding the trauma women like her have to endure to reach this state. This woman defiantly embraces the slings and arrows life throws at her, rather than curling up and hiding from the world. 

The album explores suicidal thoughts, bullying, sexuality, and abuse through 11 tracks of shimmering pop-funk. The album includes all tracks in French as well, for the Francophile listener. 

Copyright The Gayly – November 19, 2018 @ 2:20 p.m. CST.