Dancing Queen

Dancing Queen

It makes so much sense, it’s a wonder this took so long. An album of ABBA covers by camp queen Cher is a match made in pop-music heaven. The ostensible inspiration for the set was her cameo in Mamma Mia 2, where she delivered a faithful rendition of the timeless ballad “Fernando.” But who needs a reason to justify 10 new takes on ABBA’s biggest hits? From the piano vamp of “Dancing Queen” that opens the album, it’s clear nobody is trying to reinvent the wheel here. These tracks, FM radio staples for 40-plus years already, are given a spit shine and updated production values, but they’re otherwise straightforward takes that make clear the producers’ (and the performer’s) reverence for the source material. Only at the end does the formula change: “One of Us,” a heartbreaking standout from the Swedish group’s final album, The Visitors, is stripped down to strings and piano, leaving only Cher’s voice to channel all of the emotion from the devastating lyrics.

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