March 04, 2002 12:00 PM

Cher (Warner Bros.)

She has been a variety-show queen, an Oscar-winning actress and an infomercial huckster, but Cher returned to recording relevance with her 1998 hit “Believe.” The single, which earned a Grammy for best dance recording, made believers out of many who had written off Cher’s music career. The pop diva’s new album, Living Proof, picks up where “Believe” left off, delivering high-energy electro-dance anthems that will send you sprinting to the nearest disco ball.

Rather than try to compete with the Britneys of the world, Cher, now 55, has reinvented herself as the Donna Summer for the new millennium with songs whose buoyant beats compensate for lightweight lyrics. Never a remarkable singer, Cher uses her voice more as a special effect here, with computer-altered vocals adding a futuristic feel to up-tempo numbers such as “Real Love.” The results are about as organic as a fuchsia wig. But from a woman who has made no bones about her plastic surgery, what else would you expect?

Bottom Line: She’s still got it

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