Whether anyone involved in its creation knows it or not, Cher’s new song “Ooga Boo” is a work of Dadaist perfection. It’s from the animated Netflix show Home: Adventures with Tip & Oh, on which Cher voices a pop star alien Chercophonie (at last a role that lets Cher be herself, more or less). Over a cheap, trappy beat, Cher seriously and huskily sings, “Ooga ooga ooga ooga ooga ooga boo...” during the intro. So right, it’s immediately perfect and just when it wades into treacly self-affirmation territory—“You’re gonna be you...”—it devolves back into exhilarating nonsense with advice: “Find your ooga boo.” The straight-faced conviction with which Cher bellows is a beautiful aesthetic choice.
I have no idea how one finds one’s Ooga Boo, where one looks, or how long it will take to find, but at least this song will be lodged in one’s head during the search. Listen to “Ooga Boo” once and you will find yourself unable to stop hearing it. “Ooga Boo” is no mere song; it is the only song from here on out. Sorry to inflict this on you, but also welcome to the club. When you’re asked what album you would take to a desert island if you could only pick one, I have your answer, and it’s “Ooga Boo.”
Here’s what Cher had to say about it: