Without Cher, I would probably hate every second of this record - with the exception of guitarist (and Cher's then-boyfriend) Les Dudek's song, "You Know it". The remaining tracks were written by outside writers, something very rare for rock bands at the time (but not rare for Cher). It's a grab-bag of moderate rock tunes that I could take or leave; the magic happens when Cher sings them.
"Never Should've Started" kicks the record off to a good start, demonstrating promise in the songwriting. Right away, it is clear that Cher is in rocker mode - she adds a nice rasp to her voice now and then and sing-screams many lines to suit the style, doing so exceptionally well. "Julie" is weaker but still likable, and Cher means business - beware the occasional profanity on this record, beginning with this track. The next few songs are filler and have yet to excite me to any degree. "You Know It", as I mentioned before, is a strong track and Cher and Les wrap their harmonies around one another beautifully. It's got a shuffle-type tempo and could easily have been a Fleetwood Mac song. "Young and Pretty", in my opinion, is the highlight of the record - not that it's an outstanding song, but Cher sings it with superb emotion and conviction. At first it bothered me that most of the song was sung in a low vocal register, but it grew on me and only added to the dramatic flare of the track. The record closes with "Fast Company", with a nice guitar riff, but the song itself is nothing to write home about.
It's easy to see why Cher was so musically satisfied with her Black Rose experience - she is very, very good at singing the style (what CAN'T she sing? Folk, Pop, Hard Rock, AOR, Southern Rock, Dance, A/C, wow!) and brings nearly all of the quality to this album. A nod to Les Dudek for his talents - it's too bad we couldn't have heard more from him.