New Cyndi Lauper CD: "At Last"

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by Boplicity, Nov 18, 2003.

  1. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Today saw the release of a new Cyndi Lauper album "At Last". After seeing her perform the title song, Etta James' "At Last" on this morning's Today Show, I had to have the whole album.

    The CD is a collection of thirteen fifties and sixties pop "standards." The arrangements are spare, showcasing Ms. Lauper's expressive voice. Many songs have no more than piano or a piano and cello. Often the arrangement is slowed down to a tempo far slower than the original. The result often lends an almost haunting or achingly sad feeling to the songs. The CD is certainly peacefully quiet taken as a whole. The one exception would be a rousing Latin stylized salsa version of "Stay."

    Tony Bennett accompanies Ms. Lauper on "Makin' Whoopee."

    The one song I question is "La Vie En Rose", a song that requires great vocal strength. Ms Lauper has that, but maybe it is her voice that doesn't work for me with this song, but I have to listen to it more. She has slowed it down. Her voice is very expressive and her phrasing is so exquisite that it sounds almost like she is crying, but I'm still not fully sold...yet. Maybe it will grow on me.

    For example, I have never heard anyone sing "At Last" as well as Etta James, but Lauper makes the song fresh and meaningful in her own way. Also her slow "Unchained Melody" is the most refreshing version I have heard in years. She aches so much, the listener begins to ache too in sympathy. It is just beautiful.

    I've been a big fan of Cyndi Lauper's since the eighties. She is definitely moving into new musical territory here, as would be fitting someone her age. She has the potential to become a credible jazz singer. She looks terrific, by the way. I hope the CD does well.
  2. "Chick"?? Being 50 years old? ;)
  3. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Actually, Rod Stewart's two jazz standards CDS are unlike Lauper's. His are fully orchestrated and the songs are more like what is commonly called a jazz "standard." Cyndi stated on the Today Show that she wanted to do something that was more uniquely her own, so she chose "oldies, but goodies" not often chosen for covers by jazz groups or singers.

    As you said, though, she has definitely "mellowed out" both in song choice, song arrangement and her personal look which has grown elegant and sophisticated...a far cry from the quirky look of her eighties pop heyday.

    I have often wondered if women can pull off a no holds barred pop or rock act into their sixties as the Stones have done and Arrowsmith seems intent on accomplishing, too, one day. OK, Cher definitely has, but I suspect that it is far harder for a woman to do and do well than it is for a man. The public seems to accept a man's aging better than a woman's. Thus, I think this CD is a smart move for Cyndi who can prolong her career indefinitely by moving into a more mature style and changing her look accordingly.

    I do consider her CD a quality CD and not just a quick money making scheme for the holiday season. OK, she is no Billy Holiday, but she does have a very special way of singing the songs on her new CD. It is one of the few I have bought recently that I thought was worth the money.
  4. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    Gosh! I wasn't aware that Cyndi is already fifty. So I checked on Google and you are absolutely right. She turned fifty last June! She looks terrific for fifty. Some forty year olds don't look that good.
  5. Boplicity

    Boplicity Supporting Member

    That's very funny. I wondered how they could maintain that hair. But maybe more pertinent would be to wonder how they maintain the energy to tour and have two hour shows, pratically non-stop. I'm sixty and I KNOW I couldn't do it, even though I work out regularly. You can't fake energy and endurance, even with full face lifts and liposuction.

    I just don't know how Mick Jagger fronts the band and never tires. But one of the Stones did admit they often forget whole songs or parts of songs. Even Jagger admitted he forgets lines, even the first line to songs he has sung hundreds of times.