Search - Cindy Lee Berryhill :: Naked Movie Star

Naked Movie Star
Cindy Lee Berryhill
Naked Movie Star
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock


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CD Details

All Artists: Cindy Lee Berryhill
Title: Naked Movie Star
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 1
Label: Rhino / Wea
Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Styles: Traditional Folk, Singer-Songwriters, Folk Rock
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 081227084516, 081227084547, 081227084523

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CD Reviews

A hoot and a holler
Joan I. Wendland | Sterling, VA USA | 10/19/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Cindy Lee Berryhill is a wonderful quirky singer. She is completely fearless in her lyrics ranging from musings on birth control to slapping around Donald Trump. A voice like Cyndi Lauper (80's Lauper, not the standard singing version) and a black humor reminiscent of Warren Zevon - you've got to give her a try."
Take A Trip
J. Harkness | Adelaide, Australia | 09/24/2006
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Jonathan Swift once wrote, "When a true genius appears in the world, you may know him (her) by this sign, that the dunces are all in a confederacy against him (her)."

Cindy Lee Berryhill must be the most under-appreciated artist of the past three decades. She has consistently delivered 5 star albums, all the while tramping her way through numerous indie labels and never quite attaining the audience she so richly deserves. A great pity, indeed, because "Naked Movie Star" is a life-changing work that demands to be heard.

"Me, Steve, Kirk and Keith" is a rocking, hopelessly beat, on-the-road epic that dwarfs the "Born To Run" by comparison. This anthem is sharper and more focused lyrically, proclaiming: "We'll take what you've discarded and make it our own." There is something so romantic and, as Kerouac would say, "sympathetic" about these sentiments.

"Old Trombone Routine" is an achingly sad ode to the heartbreak of showbusiness: an allegory for the entire album. Lyrically, it gives account of an act doomed to failure through lack of musicianship ("She's keen to fake the chords and mumble the forgotten words...") but there is so much compassion and empathy in the song that it's hard not read it as drawing inspiration and attention to sheer injustice of popular culture that fails to recognize the talents of Miss Berryhill, herself. Music once promised everyone a voice and this album repeatedly mourns the consequences of that broken promise.

"Supernatural Fact" is a sexy, psychedelic go-go groove that celebrates biology and physics in the most fun way imaginable. There is genuine soulfulness about the sassy way Cindy sings, "I am the woman and you are the man.

"Indirectly Yours" lives up to its title by adopting a subtle approach to protesting violence and abuse. Cindy made herself a spokesperson for the so-called anti-folkies by virtue of the incredibly direct lyrics to "Whatever Works", one of the standout tracks on her debut album, "Who's Gonna Save The World?" In that song, she spoke about how they "really write folk songs down in San Diego" and how "they really write folk songs down in New York". Her words were largely misinterpreted as some new approach to a songwriting sub-genre but all she was really saying, it seems, was that high art isn't about sloganizing or chest-beating. Her words were in praise of personal truths in storytelling - in praise of subjectivity as the best route to inclusiveness. Other artists such as Jewel or even Ani DiFranco have tackled this subject or other subjects as worthy and, almost without exception, they win fans by preaching to the converted. Cindy chooses sing in the voice of a sister writing about an abusive relationship, as if to illuminate the issue as affecting everyone us, because we are all part of the human race. Her approach to her art is downright heroic.

"Trump" is an extremely personal protest of corporate power, delivered to a menacing marching band beat: "I'll take Manhattan, if I can fatten up my salary / Soon there won't be any poverty ..."

"12 Dollar Motel" is a Tom Waits style aural postcard from the unabashedly human bard: "I am a bum," she sings, with pathos and pride in equal portions.

"Turn Off The Century" evokes Sonic Youth and the great Patti Smith as a "howl" for a generation numbed, dumbed-down and eventually abandoned by television, video and drugs. Appropriately, this is a song about wanting to destroy artifice and experience life in a way that is once again raw and primitive, "I wanna feel what I'm afraid(ashamed) of ..."

"What's Wrong With Me" is one of my three favourite songs ever by anybody. An exquisite piano ballad, it is the most articulate song ever written about personal identity and the sad truth about how unbearably impossible it is to share your whole heart with others, not matter how purely and truly you may want to: "Mirages, mirrors, camouflaged fears / You're on the ledge of a building, while sitting in a chair / You're the fallen debris at the top of the stairs /You're the safety blade at the suicide / The newspaper madman with the butter knife ..."

Many have drawn and re-drawn the comparison to Patti Smith and commonly cite "Yippee" as the best example. A shameless rocker, "Yippee" is a long and sprawling improvised, verbose rival to "Rock n Roll Nigger". What's immediately different about Cindy is her sense of humor, which is more reminiscent of Warren Zevon: "Every time you take a drag off of Cools, a thousand little fiberglass darts attack your lungs." She is also more ambitious in her literary references (again, similarly to Zevon), mentioning both Mickey Rourke and Arturro Bandini, a character from the lovely novel, "Ask The Dust", in the same song. Essentially a dreamy, acidic road trip, something akin to the trips taken by the likes of Hunter S.. Thompson, "Yippee" is an experience, not a poetry recital. It haunts you and yet the whole ride is so pleasurable you'd take it again in a heartbeat.

The album closes with another classic, "Baby, Should I Have The Baby Or Not?": a loose, nearly jazzy tune, which might have sat comfortably in a set by The Grateful Dead.
Cindy chronicles the potential choices for a woman from seduction to production, "If I mess with you, undress with you / Might have to spend the rest of life with you ..." However, once more, her message is inclusive and she actively encourages all the boys to sing-a-long, too: "Just follow the bouncing ball ..."

Sometimes, the sheer magnitude of a work of art and its importance in your life humbles you to a point where you can barely express what it means to you. "Naked Movie Star" is bold, original, beautifully brave, inspired and utterly breathtaking. There are no words but these: naked genius.