In the spring of 1994, Cher was invited to a writers retreat in France. While there, she penned a number of songs which made it onto this album, not.com.mercial, so titled because her record label found it too deep and personal, and feared it wouldn't sell. Cher herself didn't feel too confident about her penmanship.
It was finally released as a download only in 2000, a few years after her worldwide smash hit album dance/electronica album "Believe".
Musically, it couldn't be more different. It harkens back to her rock/folk (and even a little country) roots in the sixties as half of the duo Sonny and Cher, with loads of acoustic guitar, and storytelling lyrics.
Opening cut "Still" has got to be the most beautiful Cher ballad ever, a stunning acoustic profession of undying love.
"Sisters of mercy" is an angry mid tempo rocker telling the tale of an experience she and her mother had at the hands of a Catholic orphanage. It's laced with harmonica/accordion.
The blues tinged "(The fall) Kurt's Blues" is her ode to Kurt Curbain, written shortly after he died.
"With or without you" is an organ driven, sixties sounding ballad, "Fit to fly", an upbeat lovely pop/rock tribute to American war veterans, and "Classified 1A", a beautiful piano ballad with a raspy/raw vocal delivery, and a Sonny Bono composition, one of the 2 songs Cher didn't write, the other being "Born with the hunger".
My favourite song is the stirring folky "Our lady of San Francisco", a heartfelt ballad about a brush with a homeless lady. My only gripe is that the song is too brief.
This is my favourite Cher album, and it sounds like what Sonny and Cher would be recording today, if they were still together.