Oh, Cyndi, she still wanna have fun!
Daniel J. Hamlow | Narita, Japan | 08/11/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cyndi Lauper--how could I ever forget? That quiff of candy-coloured orange-red hair, that garish dime store prom dress she wore on the She's So Unusual album cover, and Van Gogh's Starry Night painted on the soles of her shoes (inner sleeve art)? That goony, wacky Olive Oyl meets Betty Boop meets Jean Hagen's character from Singin' In The Rain voice? That comical face that looked like it got squashed against a window and stayed that way? I wore out the tape of this and had to buy another, the only artist that's had that honour in my collection and for that reason.Despite Madonna being the "Material Girl" in 1984, Cyndi proved she could put out a similarly themed song, "Money Changes Everything" with the in-vogue synthesizers mixed with Hooters guitarist Eric Bazilian's crunchy lead guitars. I love this song from the catchy rock rhythm. The following mirrors 80's yuppie-type business world ethics: "They say we'll be your friends/We'll stick with you till the end/Ah but everybody's only looking out for themselves/And you say well, who can you trust." The live version from the promotional 12-inch disc, has Cyndi intro-ing its recording in a typical New Yawk accent.One of Cyndi's two signature tunes, and definitely the more fun. From the opening synth glissando that ripples from left to right speaker--the effect is best felt on headphones--to the catchy synths and drums that reflects a spirited girl responding to her parents after asking her what she's going to do with her life. As the line goes, "When the working day is done/girls, they wanna have fun. "The backing girl chorus and pizzicato-like upper range piano synths in the middle are also really neat.She then covers Prince's Dirty Mind song, "When You Were Mine", heavy on bass, a slower tempo than the original, bathed in the 80's synth glow. Although I prefer the original, Cyndi's version is the one I first heard.Then a timeless song that makes my sad chip to go into overdrive, the heartfelt "Time After Time," the #1 song she co-wrote with Hooters keyboardist Rob Hyman: "If you're lost you can look and you will find me/time after time/if you fall I will catch you-I'll be waiting/time after time." This featured in Strictly Ballroom, and even Miles Davis did this on his You're Under Arrest album.The grinding safe-sex/autoerotic anthem "She Bop" with its impish lyrics still makes me smile after all this time. It shows Cyndi has got quite some mischief in her: "They say I'd better stop-or I'll go blind", "Do I wanna go out with a lion's roar" She even has a playful giggle after mentioning she needs a chaperone. Included is a lyrical nod to Gene Vincent's "Be Bop A Lula". The live version included has different stylings and false starts, but is still good."All Through The Night," penned by Aimee Mann's beau Jules Shear with its glittering piano-like synth is yet another winning ballad sung with sheer sensitivity. The metaphor of the time of the couple has with a ticking meter is interesting, as she says, "Until it ends, there is no end." There's some vintage 80's synth played during the bridge. The live version here has differing but worthwhile instrumentation.With the same kind of guitar heard in "She-Bop", the catchy "Witness" also has Cyndi doing a Ronnie Spector-like "oh oh oh". "I'll Kiss You" which details the results of drinking Love Potion #9, has a funky synth and beat and was co-written with Jules Shear. Her Betty Boop-ish vocals come in handy on the 1929 song "He's So Unusual" with duplicated LP hiss, which then segues into the high adrenaline "Yeah Yeah" which really showcases her vocal power and comical baby-ish vocal intrusions like "sushi, I want sushi!"A vintage 80's classic which makes she bop, he bop, we-bop, and I-bop and be bop a lu she bop whenever I hear it nearly 20 years later."
Forgotten Soundtrack Of The Early 80's
Rachel Lai | London, Ontario Canada | 04/11/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cyndi Lauper made a superlative record with "She's So Unusual". The opening 6-song punch is breathtaking in its consistency and quality, and make this album a classic. The remaining songs, while cute, are merely filler made charming by their association with such impressive material. A closer look:01. Money Changes Everything; Possibly Cindy's best song, definitely her most rocking one. The lyrics are superb and the arrangement here is terse and harsh, as appropriate.02. Girls Just Want To Have Fun; The classic that perfectly captured the artist's personality and image. The MTV video is infamous. Pure power pop and a pleasure to listen to.03. When You Were Mine; a cover of the Prince song from his 'Dirty Mind' album. Wonderful arrangement, excellent vocals.04. Time After Time; one of the best ballads (or songs, for that matter) of the 80s, and a No. 1 smash. Haunting lyrics, tortured vocals, and timeless production make this a standout.05. She-Bop; A veiled ode to female self-gratification, this song is notable for its complex orchestration and very sexy vocals.06. All Through The Night; The least of the 6 songs, this is another ballad, but not terribly distinguished. Wonderful to listen to, though. This album ranks among my favourites simply because of the sense of FUN Cindy brings to the material and her delivery. Also recommended: Twelve Deadly Cyns: And Then Some, for a hits collection (which also features the incredible "I Drove All Night"). This reissue contains 3 bonus tracks (live), all enjoyable, all not really necessary."
Before And After review
Da Man | Pekin, IL | 12/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Cyndi Lauper released her signature album, She's So Unusual, in late 1983BEFORE:
Cyndi was a struggling Long Island singer who had one album with a former band (1980's Blue Angel), but after that fell apart, was broke and singing in resteraunts. However, her image and style and voice couldn't leave her unsigned too long.AFTER:
Cyndi was at the forefront of popular music. SSU had no less than 5 top 30 singles, she was on MTV constantly, she won tons of music awards. She's So Unusual went on to sell 7 million copies, and for a brief moment in time, she was the undisputed queen of pop.Can you believe it's been 20 years now since this album came out? When Cyndi put out Girls Just Wanna Have Fun and Time After Time, it was a revelation. I believe Sisters Of Avalon is Cyndi's finest work, but in terms of a mainstream pop album, Cyndi never topped this in that regard. Not one filler track on this, all 10 songs (well, 9 if you count He's So Unusual/Yeah Yeah as one) were ready to release. Of the non-released tracks, When You Were Mine stands out, she took a Prince classic and made it even better.For many pop fans, this is where it began and ended for Cyndi. I don't agree with it since almost all of her albums are great (I have not been won over by At Last though) , but if pop is your thing and you only want one Cyndi cd, this is the one to get. If you love this cd and also love more Lillith Fair-esque female singer-songwriter music, also check out Cyndi's 90's work, especially Sisters Of Avalon."