Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Cyndi Lauper: The Body Acoustic
Genres: Alternative Rock, Folk, Pop, Rock
Cyndi Lauper may have been mocked as a ditz when she emerged in 1983, but her songs have proven to be a lot more enduring than those by more critically respected artists of the 1980s. "Time After Time," for instance, has b... more »
Cyndi Lauper may have been mocked as a ditz when she emerged in 1983, but her songs have proven to be a lot more enduring than those by more critically respected artists of the 1980s. "Time After Time," for instance, has been covered by everybody from Miles Davis to Faith Hill to Uncle Kracker. That stylistic range can also be found on The Body Acoustic, on which Lauper--her voice now endearingly raspy--revisits her best-known songs with the help of an impressive gallery of guest stars. Sarah McLachlan comes in for "Time After Time," while the likes of Adam Lazzara (from emo band Taking Back Sunday), Shaggy, and Ani DiFranco also pay their respects. Okay, so we knew Lauper was a good songwriter, but what's been emerging lately is her talent as an interpreter. Here she does to her own material what she did to standards on 2003's At Last. Among the standouts are the stark "She Bop" and the catch-in-the-throat "True Colors" (both sans guests), and the superbly emotional "I'll Be Your River" (with Vivian Green). But lest you think Lauper had gone all serious on us, the album concludes with the bouncy "Girls Just Want to Have Fun"; Japanese duo Puffy Ami Yumi (a direct visual descendent of Lauper's early days) sings the chorus while Lauper herself lets loose on a new ska arrangement. --Elisabeth Vincentelli
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Better Than I Thought... A Risky Endeavor Pays Off!
mattyp4 | New York, NY United States | 11/25/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"After covering other people's songs in her last release (2003's At Last), Cyndi Lauper yet again deviates from releasing an album of new material & instead covers her OWN songs on The Body Acoustic. Yes, these are acoustic versions of earlier hits & album tracks, with the help of some guests that include Sarah McLachlan, Shaggy, Vivian Green, Ani DiFranco, Jeff Beck, and Taking Back Sunday frontman Adam Lazzara.
For most of these songs, "acoustic" doesn't always equal "downtempo." Sure, there are some obvious choices [read: ballads] that don't sound too radically different, like "Time After Time," "True Colors" & "Water's Edge," but they still pack an emotional punch. Especially "True Colors."
It's the more uptempo songs that fare better with the acoustic treatment. Songs like "Money Changes Everything," which now sounds like a twangy singalong, & "She Bop," which is slowed down to sound like a bluesy confessional. I'm not saying one version is superior to the other; these are just new incarnations of familiar songs. And for the most part, they're really good. I was even pleased with "All Through The Night," which sounds almost rootsy with it's folk-like fiddle. She collaborates on the song with reggae star Shaggy, whom I normally despise, along with most reggae music, but he & Cyndi do a lot of good to the song, which has always been one of my favorites. It gets a new, pulsing, rhythmic flow. Other highlights include "Shine" & "Sisters of Avalon."
As with most compilations these days, there are a couple new tracks thrown in the mix: "Above The Clouds" & "I'll Be Your River" are two deeply poignant ballads that sound like classic Cyndi Lauper. But it really makes you yearn for an album of all-new material!
The only disappointment is yet another version of "Girls Just Want To Have Fun." She already gave it the calypso treatment on "Hey Now" (from 1994's hits collection, 12 Deadly Cyns), so I was hoping for (& excited about) a completely different retelling of the song, along the lines of "She Bop." Well, instead we get a terrrible ska-lite version of the song with the help of that sugar-coated Japanese pop duo, Puffy AmiYumi. Oh well. It's the one downside of an album that's otherwise surprisingly entertaining & consistently agreeable.
If you're a Cyndi Lauper fan, I'd hope that you give this a shot before just writing it off!"
Lauper Works Her Magic
Rudy Palma | NJ | 12/07/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cyndi Lauper weaves magic with her new release, "The Body Acoustic," a collection of her greatest hits, notable non-singles and two new compositions recorded with sparse instrumentation. Like her superb 2003 standards collection, "At Last," her valentine to her native New York, one could say that Lauper is simply cashing in on another recent trend; this time of releasing acoustic reinterpretations of an artist's own former catalogue. However, the bulk of her songwriting is ideal for an intimate setting, which makes "The Body Acoustic" not only a solid but a justified release; not a mere pause before releasing a complete disc of original material.
Lauper kicks off the disc with the assistance of Taking Back Sunday's Adam Lazarra, one of many special guests she enlisted for inclusion on this project. Singing her 1984 hit "Money Changes Everything," Lauper nearly replicates the electricity she exudes when performing the song in concert. With a sprawling vocal range that is equal parts gritty and graceful, it is hard for the majority of her guests to keep up with her at all, making their inclusion essentially inconsequential. The only exceptions are Sarah McLachlan, who provides perfect compliment to "Water's Edge" and 1984's #1 smash "Time After Time," and Shaggy, who helps Lauper turn "All Through the Night" into a delightfully reggae-infused affair.
"Sisters of Avalon" is a funky, rousing excursion. Though at once they seem ideal to lend their talents to the track, Ani Difranco and Vivian Green simply fall into the background on a song that fits nicely in the scheme of the disc but adds nothing original to the original 1997 version. Green's presence is felt more strongly, however, on "I'll Be Your River," one of the two new tracks. A song of an endless, unselfish love, Lauper knocks this one straight out of the ballpark. Even sharper, however, is the second new selection, "Above the Clouds." A warm-bath ballad featuring Jeff Beck on lead guitar, the song is drenched in utter beauty and gorgeous lyrics that Lauper wraps her voice around with warmth and style.
"Stand tall/And glide/When you're all alone in the crowd/Don't fall/Don't hide/When you walk above the clouds/When you walk above the clouds."
This collection would be incomplete without "True Colors," her huge 1986 hit she recorded in honor of her friend Gregory who passed away from AIDS. It is no surprise that the song has become so important to the homosexual community, for it waxes so pointedly of unconditional empathy and acceptance, no matter who or what one may be.
"I see your true colors shining through/I see your true colors/And that's why I love you/So don't be afraid to let them show/Your true colors/Are beautiful like a rainbow."
Also included are the invigorating "Shine," "Fearless," an intense moody take on 1984's infamous "She Bop" and "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun," which remains just as festive as ever.
Although it is a disappointment that "Hat Full of Stars," Lauper's true masterpiece, is not represented on this collection, "The Body Acoustic" is everything a fine album should be. Loyal fans and casual listeners alike will all find something to love.
The DualDisc features 4 live performances, a look behind-the-scenes and the album in enhanced stereo.
Better than I expected
Erik J. Malvick | Davis, CA | 09/30/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"After attending Cyndi's Concert last weekend in Tahoe, I was convinced to buy this album as my first Cyndi Lauper album. I was never really a fan of hers because pop music like hers was never really my thing. But my fiancee is a fan, and I always did like songs like Time after Time and All Through the Night.
Her concert, however, was quite impressive. It gave me a respect for her talent that I never had, and I felt that this album maybe the one that would maintain my respect (rather than say purchase earlier "hits" compilations of hers).
My instinct seemed right. This album is a fantastic album featuring acoustic interpretations of many of her hits plus newer songs. I'll have to admit that I was a bit skeptical about the duet portions of this disc as I wasn't sure how some of the guest artists would work with Cyndi, but it seems that everything is just right.
The guest artists seem to participate in a backup capacity, which is nice. While I knew of the guests before I purchased it, I was a bit concerned that a guest like Sarah McLachlan would be a bit overwhelming or overpowering, but she isn't. In fact, Cyndi's voice shows great power throughout the tracks, which is what impressed me at the show I saw as well.
The acoustic arrangements are nice as well. They really bring out Cyndi's talent vocally and instrumentally. It really shows that there is more than your typical top 40 pop hit to these songs, especially lyrically.
I am impressed enough that I think I'll consider some of her more recent work and perhaps a true greatest hits compilation.
So, if you are a potential fan of Cyndi Lauper and perhaps you are not much of a pop music fan, this album just might be for you. I am sure it is not for everyone, and it is not an album to get if you are expecting all of Cyndi's songs in their original sense. These are reinterpretations, even if they aren't all that different from the originals."