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The Body Acoustic

Cyndi Lauper

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Album Review

Cyndi Lauper looks back at her hits on The Body Acoustic, with a number of guests including Adam Lazzara, Shaggy, Sarah McLachlan, Vivian Green, Ani DiFranco, and Jeff Beck. Conceptually, this looks like a disaster. Alanis Morissette did it as well and the results were mixed at best. But Lauper has always possessed a talent that goes beyond the material she has sung — and she can sing anything. The album is produced by Lauper with Rick Chertoff and William Wittman — who recorded and mixed the disc. Lauper's band is a wide and varied assortment that includes contemporary jazz bassist Mark Egan. "Money Changes Everything," with Lazzara, is a down-home calypso and country ramble. "All Through the Night," with Shaggy, begins as an Appalachian folk tune until Shaggy begins toasting and Lauper shifts it into ballad gear. It's a conflicting set of styles that's held together in the genuine ache of her voice. "Time After Time" would be a beautiful song in anybody's hands. Here, with McLachlan, she goes down into the tune's lyrics and abandons the drama of the original for the intimacy of its words. The human heart becomes the interlocutor of memory and loss. Lauper and McLachlan trade verses as 12-strings, muted drums, and space define the place where lost love becomes the center of the question of devotion across time and space. "She Bop" is almost a blues song, and as a result it reveals deep eroticism as the pleasures and sweet release of masturbation fall from the singer's voice like raw honey. And so it goes with "Above the Clouds," as Beck's trademark biting tone is juxtaposed against piano and space. This is a ballad that actually hurts. Its drama is realized in Lauper's phrasing and Beck's playing bites harder accentuating it — relaxed, slow, and deeply emotive. "Sisters of Avalon" features soul chanteuse Green and DiFranco. It's funky as hell. Deep roiling bass pops and drones with acoustic guitars, fiddles, and a dulcimer moving through and around it. The drums fall just behind the beat as the singer goes for the crack in the lyrical spine of the track. The chorus-like refrain punches up its drama. Green takes her verse before an instrumental slide guitar interlude, and her wailing voice makes it among the album's best. Lauper sings without friends on a number of cuts as well, such as the beautiful "Colors" and the stunning "Fearless." This may be a slanted look at a greatest-hits package, but it comes off as an entirely new album full of adventure, grit, polish, and soul.

Customer Reviews

Re-newed found love for Cyndi

I used to love Cyndi. I remember listening to She's So Unusual and thinking it was all about me (only I was living out the boy version). Then she hit a slump with a few high notes (Sisters of Avalon was so promising and a fantastic CD but I think a bit before it's time with the mainstream) but nothing lived up to her early 80's stuff. Then along came Bring me to the brink and I started pulling out my Cyndi CDs and downloading stuff I never bought and telling everyone I knew to go buy Cyndi's new CD! This CD is AMAZING. I knew this was worth it when I listened to Time after Time. This version made me cry and want to go back to the summer of 1984 and everything that time seems in my memory. Buy this. It is not better and not worse. I think the original and these new versions accompany each other so well that you really see the talent of this amazing artist.

Beautifully done

I must say that I am very glad that I decided to buy this album. I remember Cyndi's music from the 80's so well, and I saw here in Texas a couple of years ago. The renditions that she does in this album are absolutely gorgeous. If you think you've heard Cyndi, give this album a listen - you haven't heard anything yet.

Stripped down

These are beautiful, stripped down versions of her songs. Her voice is lovely and uncluttered by techie background. Her voice was meant to be heard this way. Cyndi's voice melting into Sarah McLachlan's in 'Time After Time' brings the life to this song that it deserves. 'Above the Clouds', 'Fearless' and 'Water's Edge' are wonderful songs.

Biography

Born: June 22, 1953 in Brooklyn, NY

Genre: Pop

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Cyndi Lauper was one of the biggest stars of the early MTV era, selling five million copies of her debut album, She's So Unusual, as well as scoring a string of four Top Ten hits from the record, including the major hits "Girls Just Want to Have Fun" and "Time After Time." Lauper's thin, girlish voice and gleefully ragtag appearance became one of the most distinctive images of the early '80s, which helped lead her not only to the top of the charts, but also to stardom. Throughout America, there were...
Full Bio