13 Songs, 49 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two decades after “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” made her famous, Cyndi Lauper reintroduced herself as a sophisticated chanteuse on 2003’s At Last. Actually, her make-over wasn’t as radical as might first appear — there’d always been a bit of the old-fashioned show-biz trooper in her comic-yet-sentimental style. Lauper mostly pulls off the challenge of tackling a diverse mix of Tin Pan Alley, old school R&B and vintage rock songs, thanks to her formidable vocal pipes and ultra-vivid personality. She kicks up her heels imagining “The Sunny Side of The Street” as a ska tune and getting a Latin groove going on “Stay.” But it’s the album’s ballads that are truly exceptional. It took chutzpah to turn Jacques Brel’s “If You Go Away” into a stark exercise in angst or to invoke the shade of Laura Nyro for a tormented reading of the Bacharach/David classic “Walk On By.” Not all tracks work equally well, but Cyndi impresses far more than she disappoints and proves herself a gifted song interpreter in the classic pop mode.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Two decades after “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” made her famous, Cyndi Lauper reintroduced herself as a sophisticated chanteuse on 2003’s At Last. Actually, her make-over wasn’t as radical as might first appear — there’d always been a bit of the old-fashioned show-biz trooper in her comic-yet-sentimental style. Lauper mostly pulls off the challenge of tackling a diverse mix of Tin Pan Alley, old school R&B and vintage rock songs, thanks to her formidable vocal pipes and ultra-vivid personality. She kicks up her heels imagining “The Sunny Side of The Street” as a ska tune and getting a Latin groove going on “Stay.” But it’s the album’s ballads that are truly exceptional. It took chutzpah to turn Jacques Brel’s “If You Go Away” into a stark exercise in angst or to invoke the shade of Laura Nyro for a tormented reading of the Bacharach/David classic “Walk On By.” Not all tracks work equally well, but Cyndi impresses far more than she disappoints and proves herself a gifted song interpreter in the classic pop mode.

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