Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
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Christina R. from MIDVALE, UT
Reviewed on 7/27/2014...
I'm a child of the 80s. I love Cyndi Lauper. Who doesn't love these songs? This CD should be a love fest right? Uhm, no. It's not. She just does not have the right voice for many of these songs. It was off to a good start. The title track was good. Can't say I really enjoyed any of the others. Most of the time she's too screechy. I'm sad. I really wanted to like this CD.
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Linda C. from CRESCENT CITY, CA
Reviewed on 11/12/2006...
Like New Condition.
0 of 5 member(s) found this review helpful.
Joanne A. from MAYS LANDING, NJ
Reviewed on 8/7/2006...
I've loved her voice since the beginning of her career but these standards just don't hit the right note for me.
Brava Diva Cyndi!
David Bruce | Long Beach, California United States | 10/27/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Cyndi Lauper - AT LAST (track-by-track)
I was thrilled when I got this disc. From the start, I was stunned... more in that I didn't know what to think. Before I go into my track-by-track analysis, I must say that I've had to listen to this now many times before I could start to feel that I'd digested it.
1. "At Last" - This song is a veritable staple known from Etta James' full throttled version in 1960 (though, originally, it was by the Nat King Cole Trio in the 40s, I think), on to Christina Aguilera's version (melisma and all). When this track started, I was taken by the sparse arrangement even before Cyndi's entrance. Then, Cyndi started to sing... do not expect your typical Cyndi Lauper on this, as she's almost unrecognizable sounding. Instead of going for a full-on production, as I said, the arrangement is rather sparse, and Cyndi has opted for emotion more than vocal purity. There are times when it sounds as if Cyndi's having vocal problems, and her vibrato goes in and out. But, instead of taking away from this song, it makes it more powerful. In Cyndi's hands, this song's more plaintive than a declaration - more on the wistful side.
2. "Walk On By" - This song has become fully Dionne Warwick's, no matter how many people have recorded it. That is, until Cyndi's take on it. Cyndi takes this from a nice pop ditty, and fully enmeshes it with emotion. She runs the gamut of 'poor little me, you've gone' to 'I'm my own person, so leave me alone'. There are hints of the Cyndi Lauper we know, but her vocal stylings don't take center stage - the song does. She plays with rhythms slightly too, which in addition to her emoting (and the slower tempo) makes this a study in how to survive a relationship going bad - in under 5 minutes! This track is one of the high points on the disc to me.
3. "Stay" - Finally, fully a Cyndi-of-old sound, but with a Latin beat. This song makes no pretense - it's pure fun, and all the participants are fully doing such.
4. "La Vie En Rose" - To me, this is a misstep for Cyndi. She fully makes it sound like I assume Edith Piaf sounded singing on street corners before becoming an international star. But, the drawback is her infusing so much into this song with the English lyrics - to me, it would have worked much better if she'd done this interpretation in French.
5. "Unchained Melody" - When this track starts, I started to wonder if this was going to me overly mellow, such as Rod Stewart's disc last year. But, tempo aside, there's nothing same-o, same-o about Cyndi's interpretation. Yes, the tempo's slower than usual (even going back to Les Baxter's in the 50's), but each and every word has meaning, and that meaning is drawn in bold strokes for the listener.
6. "If You Go Away" - Unlike my thoughts on "La Vie En Rose," this is a different song in English to the French original. But, unlike many other English versions, this is not a wallowing in co-dependency, but a woman's declaration that, 'yes, I'll hurt, but I'll survive'.
7. "Until You Come Back To Me" - Finally, a song that Cyndi sounded like she had fun with. Though, this could also be a testament to co-dependency, even having fun, Cyndi makes sure we know that though she may be waiting, she's not stopped living - and, being an individual. Also, there is more of the Cyndi Lauper voice of old on this one.
8. "My Baby Just Cares For Me" - One of the first things one notices in this is the use of organ... (think a slightly swinging Ethel Smith more than Billy Preston). Also, the cultural references have been updated (i.e., instead of Lana Turner or Lena Horne, Cyndi References Jennifer Aniston, Queen Latifah, etc.), and the whole feel of this track is again very sparse, and the occasional sax and bass clarinet really give this a late night, after a few martinis, friends doing a mellow jam session feeling.
9. "Makin' Whoopee" (with Tony Bennett) - This is probably the most fun track on the whole album. The conversational mode between Cyndi and Tony, plus the minor tweaks to update the lyrics make this priceless. Plus, Cyndi begins with an intro that I've not heard before, and probably hasn't been since Eddie Cantor did it on radio back in the 30s.
10. "Don't Let Me Be Misunderstood" - Again, Cyndi goes more for emotion than just making it just sound pretty. At first listen, I was a bit disconcerted with this, but on repeated listenings, I realized that what I'd always heard as a fun, fluff song really is about what the title states - a complete personal statement.
11. "You've Really Got A Hold On Me" - On this one Cyndi combines both emotion and great vocals (primarily just voice and piano). Again, the tempo's slower, and the lyrics take precedence - almost to a point where the protagonist is singing about an unrequited love.
12. "Hymn To Love" - The only total misstep on this entire project to me. I know this in French as "Hymne d'Amour," as well as the English adaptation as "If You Love Me (Really Love Me)." It's so ingrained in my mind, that I couldn't come to the (unknown to me) lyrics used here. I'm sure I'll get to the meat of song after listening more.
13. "On the Sunny Side of the Street" - This (without looking at the track listing) was completely unexpected and, the end result is a conclusion on an up note! Each and every performer on this song is having fun, and Cyndi's softly spoken "Let's go home" at the end makes this perfect - a perfect ending.
The best part of this album is it's entirely creative and innovative. It is most definitely an artistic statement, where the focus was on making a fantastic and musically inventive album instead of going for the lowest common denominator (i.e., hit singles). Though it has it's quirks and not everything works, this is one of *the* best interpretive albums released in a long time! This album may not have spoken to me from the start, but it's not only simmered, it's gone to become a complete sizzle - I'm loving this album. Cyndi is to be commended to venturing out on a limb... Brava Cyndi!
I wanted to hate it. I really did.
Manny | Miami, FL | 01/11/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This is intriguing, reading such wildly disparate reviews. And you know what? It's joyous. Joyous that Cyndi elicits such intense emotional reactions, both positive *and* negative. It means she's doing something right. I'm reminded of 2 reviews in the New York Times, published side by side, when Nirvana's "Nevermind" was released years ago. One was titled "It's Brilliant," and the other, "It's Awful." Cyndi's "At Last" is much the same: bound to throw some listeners off, destined to confuse those who finally thought they had Cyndi Lauper figured out. I hated the idea of a covers album at first too. Then I listened to the whole album. Dear God, Cyndi, what planet are you from? How do you spin hoary clunkers like "Unchained Melody" into stunning little prayers? And who do you think you are, making me cry? Five stars, and that's only cuz they won't allow me fifty. It's unfortunate that some armchair critics have criticized the "production," which is in fact stellar (says the studio hack-by-trade.) The subtle violins glisten, the piano sparkles, and the infinite textures of Cyndi's voice leap out. We've grown so accustomed to polish and overproduced dreck that hearing just a voice - and that's all you'll find here, essentially - can be jarring. So can the occasional crack brought on by raw emotion. But Cyndi's got the balls to put it out there, straight from her soul. It's what separates the Cyndis and the Arethas and the Pattis from the rest of the pack - and it's the stuff that lives on long after we're gone. So embrace your reaction to "At Last." Love it so much you want to devour it, hate it so much you need to post reviews on Amazon.com under different user names, which I've noticed in this case. But let the debate rage on. That's when you know it's art, friends."